United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1994 HQ Rulings > HQ 0955419 - HQ 0955512 > HQ 0955470

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 955470

February 17, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 955470 HP


TARIFF NO.: 4202.92.4500

Mr. Barry Brinker
Vice President, Product Development / Marketing J Jay Products Company, Inc.
2833 Spring Grove Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45225

RE: Travel garment bag is an article of luggage.

Dear Mr. Brinker:

This is in reply to your letter of July 14, 1993. That letter concerned the tariff classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), of garment bags, produced in China.


The merchandise at issue consists of Articles 40001, "Travel Suit Bag," and 40002, "Travel Coat/Dress Bag." You state that the items are manufactured of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic sheeting and measure 5 mil (thousandths of an inch) thick after embossing. The sheeting is embossed to simulate a nylon fabric. Item 40002 was included with your request. It is packaged for retail sale as a rack good and has a printed insert. The bags are designed to be carried with the person by means of a clothes hanger, not included.


Whether the travel bag is considered an article of luggage or an article of plastics under the HTSUSA?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, and, provided such heading or chapter notes do not otherwise require, according to the remaining GRIs taken in order.

The first step in classifying the garment bags at issue is to determine whether they are classifiable in Chapter 42, as luggage, or in Chapter 39, which deals with plastic goods. The garments could be classified in two possible subheadings within the two above chapters:

(a) subheading 4202.92.4500, HTSUSA, which provides for trunks, suitcases, ... other: travel, sports and similar bags, with outer surfaces of plastic sheeting: other; or

(b) subheading 3923.90.0000, HTSUSA, which provides for other articles for the conveyance and packing of goods.

Additional U.S. Note 1 to Chapter 42, HTSUSA, provides that "for the purposes of heading 4202, the expression ~travel, sports, and similar bags' means goods ... of a kind designed for carrying clothing and other personal effects during travel...." It has consistently been Customs position to view the substantiality of construction as essential to a finding that an article is designed for travel, and could thus be designated as luggage Chapter 42.

Garment bags that are constructed of 4 mil or thicker vinyl are substantially constructed so as to warrant classification as luggage within heading 4202, HTSUSA. In determining the thickness of garment bags, the Customs Service has consistently used the formula for determining the gauge of embossed non-rigid vinyl chloride film as recommended by the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM designation D1593-81, Table 1, Quality Assurance Provisions for Government/Military Procurement). Customs Laboratory Report 2-93-30870-002 indicates that the plastic sheeting from which items 40001 and 40002 are manufactured exceeds the minimum standard for quality assurance. Noting that the articles are manufactured and retailed as travel bags, it is our opinion that both articles are appropriately classified within heading 4202, HTSUSA, as travel, sports, and similar bags.


As a result of the foregoing, the instant merchandise is classified under subheading 4202.92.4500, HTSUSA, as travel, sports and similar bags with an outer surface of sheeting of plastic. The applicable rate of duty is 20 percent ad valorem.

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: