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 > 1995 HQ Rulings > HQ 954720 - HQ 955034 > HQ 954963

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 954963

September 20, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 954963 ch


TARIFF NO.: 4202.92.4500; 4202.32.1000

Emery Customs Brokers
1327 Ashton Road
Suite 202
Hanover, Maryland 21076

RE: Modification of HRL 089949; classification of a cosmetic case; travel, sports and similar bag; articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or handbag.


Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 089949, dated October 11, 1991, concerned the classification of a change purse, cigarette case and cosmetic case under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). We have had occasion to review this ruling and find that the classification of the cosmetic case under subheading 4202.32.1000, HTSUSA, is in error.


The instant merchandise is a change purse, cigarette case and cosmetic case. The outer surface of each item is wholly 100 percent polyvinyl chloride with a woven nylon fabric backing. The clasp frame of each piece is made of giltplated iron, and the change purse has a key ring attached to one end of the clasp. You state that these goods are intended to be carried on the person, presumably in a handbag.

In HRL 089949 these three items were classified under subheading 4202.32.1000, HTSUSA, which provides, inter alia, for articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or in the handbag, with outer surface of plastic sheeting, of reinforced or laminated plastics.


What is the proper tariff classification for the cosmetic case?


In Headquarters Ruling Letter 951534, dated August 4, 1992, we stated:

Although a fine distinction is made with regard to whether 4202.92 or 4202.32, HTSUSA, controls the classification of cosmetic cases, this office has consistently made such determinations and concluded that subheading 4202.92, HTSUSA, more specifically provides for such articles. See Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 087419, dated July 12, 1990. In HRL 087419, Customs recognized that travel bags are articles designed to aid in organizing and providing a convenient carrying case for an individual and not primarily for use as a handbag accessory. While it is true that some cosmetic cases, such as the three styles at issue, may be small enough to be carried in a handbag, subheading 4202.92, HTSUSA, nevertheless provides more specifically for these articles because they are designed to transport personal effects, whether or not in a handbag, and this is the essence of a travel bag.

On this basis, we concluded that cosmetic cases are generally classifiable as travel bags. Therefore, the instant cosmetic case is properly classifiable pursuant to subheading 4202.92, HTSUSA.


The subject cosmetic case is classifiable under subheading 4202.92.4500, HTSUSA, which provides inter alia for toiletry bags, purses and similar containers: travel, sports and similar bags: other. The applicable rate of duty is 20 percent ad valorem.

The subject change purse and cigarette case are classifiable under subheading 4202.32.1000, HTSUSA, which provides for articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or in the handbag: with outer surface of sheeting of plastic: of reinforced or laminated plastics. The applicable rate of duty is 12.1 cents per kilogram and 4.6 percent ad valorem.

This notice to you should be considered a modification of HRL 089949 under 19 CFR 177.9(d)(1). 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, your client may, at its discretion, notify this office and apply for relief from the binding effects of this decision 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

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: