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HQ 950782

April 1, 1992

CLA-2-2 CO:R:C:T 950782 CAB


TARIFF NO.: 4202.92.4500

Lewis M. Bernstein
462 7th Avenue
New York, NY 10018

RE: Modification of New York Ruling Letter 847053; Classification of a Coated Textile Travel Bag; Outer Surface of Transparent Plastics

Dear Mr. Bernstein:

On November 15, 1989, the Area Director of New York Customs sent you a ruling letter, NYRL 847053, concerning a travel bag of 65% polyester and 35% cotton coated with a clear plastics material. We have been asked to reconsider NYRL 847053 by the office which issued it.


While this office does not have a sample of the merchandise, it is described in NYRL 847053 as a 65% polyester and 35% cotton coated travel bag with a clear plastics coating. The travel bag is also described as style #110789.

NYRL 847053 classified this travel bag under the provision for travel, sports and similar bags, with outer surface of textile materials, other, other, of man-made fibers, in subheading 4202.92.3030, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Textile category 670 applies to this tariff number.


Whether a transparent plastics coating can be considered the outer surface of the travel bag?


Imported goods are classifiable according to the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs) of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). GRI 1 provides that "classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative Section or Chapter notes." Merchandise that cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 are to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRIs taken in order.

Heading 4202, HTSUSA, provides for other containers, as follows:
traveling bags, toiletry bags, knapsacks and backpacks...of plastic sheeting, of textile materials, of vulcanized fiber of paperboard, or wholly or mainly covered with such materials.

Additional U.S. Note 1, Chapter 42, provides in pertinent part:

For the purposes of heading 4202, the expression "travel, sports and similar bags" means goods, other than those falling in subheadings 4202.11 through 4202.39, of a kind designed for carrying clothing and other personal effects during travel, including backpacks and shopping bags of this heading...

In order for this item to be classified in this subheading 4202.92, however, it must be "of...or wholly or mainly covered with either textile materials or plastic sheeting." The Customs and Trade Act of 1990 added Additional U.S. Legal Note (2) to Chapter 42, which further clarified how classification should be made under the "outer surface" criteria, as follows:

For the purposes of classifying articles under subheadings 4202.12, 4202.22, 4202.32, and 4202.92, articles of textile fabric impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics (whether compact or cellular) shall be regarded as having an outer surface of textile material or of plastic sheeting, depending upon whether and the extent to which the textile constituent or the plastic constituent makes up the exterior surface of the article.

The travel bag in this instance is coated with a clear plastics material, and is classifiable in subheading 4202.92, HTSUSA. There is no requirement that the plastic coating or lamination be visible to the naked eye. See HRL 089569 of October 21, 1991, in which a shopping bag which was made of woven polyethylene strips (a textile) that had been coated with a layer of clear polyethylene (a plastic) was classified in subheading 4202.92.


The instant travel bag is classifiable in subheading 4202.92.4500, as a travel, sport or similar bag, of textile materials, with outer surface of plastic sheeting. There is no textile category associated with this classification, and the applicable rate of duty is 20 percent ad valorem.

In order to insure uniformity in Customs classification of this merchandise and eliminate uncertainty, we are modifying NYRL 847053 to reflect the above classification effective with the date of this letter. However, if after your review, you disagree with the legal basis for our decision, we invite you to submit review. Any submission you wish to make should be received within 30 days of the date of this letter.

This notice to you should be considered a modification of NYRL 847053 under 10 CFR 177.9(d)(1). It is not be applied retroactively to NYRL 847053 (19 CFR 177.9(d)(2)) and will not, therefore, affect past transactions for the importation of your merchandise under that ruling. However, for the purposes of future transactions of merchandise of this type, NYRL 847053 will not be valid precedent. We recognize that pending transactions may be adversely affected by this modification, in that current contracts for importations arriving at a port subsequent to this decision will be classified pursuant to it. If such a situation arises, you may, at your discretion, notify this office and apply for such relief from the binding effects as may be warranted by the circumstances. However, please be advised that in some instances involving import restraints, such relief may require separate approvals from other government agencies.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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