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HQ 956234

November 14, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 956234 BC


TARIFF NO.: 6307.90.9989

Albert Abraham
Air Import Manager
Mark Samuels & Co.
P.O. Box 91484
Los Angeles, CA 90009

RE: Classification of drawstring gift bags made of 100% polyester woven textile fabric; drawstring pouches

Dear Mr. Abraham:

This responds to your letter of April 5, 1994, wherein you requested, on behalf of Tampus Gifts, Inc., a binding classification ruling for drawstring textile gift bags and pouches. We have reviewed the matter, and our decision follows.


You submitted with this ruling request copies of pages from a catalogue displaying your client's products. The merchandise at issue is described on page 7 of that catalogue: five styles of drawstring gift bags made of 100% polyester woven fabric. The catalogue shows five drawstring pouches/bags enclosing gifts. Gift bag style no. GB 5001 measures 5 inches x 14 inches x 3 inches; style no. GB 5002 measures 5 inches x 9 1/2 inches x 3 inches; style no. GB 5003 measures 5 1/2 inches high x 6 inches round; style no. GB 5004 measures 4 1/2 inches high x 5 inches round; and style no. GB 5005 measures 16 inches x 24 inches. The catalogue indicates that the opening on all bags is lined with fabric of contrasting color or pattern.

You also submitted a sample gift pouch/bag. It is similar to style no. GB 5001, but it is not lined at the opening. In a telephone conversation with one of my staff, you indicated that not all pouches/bags are lined at the opening. Also, you stated that none of the pouches/bags are otherwise lined; that is, none are lined throughout the interior of the pouches/bags. In addition, the sample shows that the drawstring is not constructed to effect closure of the pouches/bags by pulling. Rather, the "drawstring" is attached to the side of the bag and employed by tying it around the outside of the pouches/bags after the gift is enclosed. You stated that all pouches/bags are constructed in this manner.


What is the proper classification for the gift pouches/bags at issue?


Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that classification is determined in accordance with the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Where goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, the remaining rules will be applied in sequential order.

The Explanatory Notes (EN's) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HCDCS) assist us in the classification of merchandise. The EN's constitute the official interpretation of the nomenclature at the international level. While not legally binding, they represent the considered views of classification experts of the Harmonized System Committee. It has been the practice of the Customs Service to follow, whenever possible, the terms of the EN's when interpreting the HTSUS. In Treasury Decision (T.D.) 89-80, Customs stated that the EN's should always be consulted as guidance when classifying merchandise. (See T.D. 89-80, quoting from a report of the Joint Committee on the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988, 23 Cust. Bull. 379 (1989), 54 Fed. Reg. 35,127 (August 23, 1989).)

Drawstring pouches and bags made of textile materials are classifiable in heading 4202 or 6307, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), depending on their construction and design. Heading 4202 provides for the following articles:

Trunks, suitcases, vanity cases, attache cases, briefcases, camera cases, musical instrument cases, gun cases, holsters and similar containers; traveling bags, toiletry bags, knapsacks and backpacks, handbags, shopping bags, wallets, purses, map cases, cigarette cases, tobacco pouches, tool bags, sports bags, bottle cases, jewelry boxes, powder cases, cutlery cases and similar containers, of leather or of composition leather, of sheeting of plastics, of textile materials, of vulcanized fiber or of paperboard, or wholly or mainly covered with such materials or with paper.

Articles of this heading are containers for carrying and/or storing personal items. Where the characteristics of drawstring pouches/bags indicate that they are used for those purposes, they will be classified in heading 4202. Drawstring pouches/bags classifiable in the heading must be constructed of materials sufficiently durable to permit repeated or extensive use as carrying and/or storing articles. Some drawstring pouches/bags must also be specially shaped or fitted to hold particular articles. (See Headquarters Ruling Letters (HRL's) 087753 (November 19, 1990), 950000 (October 31, 1991), 875278 (June 26, 1992), classifying drawstring pouches in subheading 4202.32, HTSUSA, as articles normally carried in the pocket or handbag; and HRL's 086637 (March 30, 1990), 089575 (November 20, 1991), 951882 (January 29, 1993)), classifying them in subheading 4202.92, HTSUSA, as bags used for carrying personal goods during travel from place to place (travel, sports, and similar bags of Additional U.S. Note 1, Chapter 42, HTSUSA).)

Heading 6307, HTSUSA, provides for other made up textile articles not more specifically described elsewhere in the tariff. The EN's provide that the heading includes domestic laundry or shoe bags, stocking, handkerchief, or slipper sachets, pajama or nightdress cases, and similar articles. However, it excludes "travel goods (suit-cases, rucksacks, etc.), shopping bags, toilet cases, etc., and all similar containers of heading 42.02." (See EN's, HCDCS, p. 867-68.) Thus, there are some drawstring pouches/bags (shoe and laundry bags) included in the heading and some excluded therefrom (including travel/carry bags of heading 4202). If drawstring pouches/bags are classifiable in heading 4202, HTSUSA, they cannot be classified in heading 6307, HTSUSA. We have held that general purpose drawstring pouches/bags are classifiable in this heading when they are either not specially shaped or fitted to hold particular articles or not constructed of durable materials. (See HRL's 089851 (July 29, 1991), 089371 (September 6, 1991), 954948 (October 28, 1993), 954403 (November 16, 1993).)

The smaller pouches/bags at issue here, style nos. GB 5002, GB 5003, and GB 5004, are not specially shaped or fitted to hold particular articles; pouches/bags of this kind are general purpose articles that could be used to enclose a wide variety of items (jewelry, soap, perfume, marbles, candy, small bottle of liquor, etc.). In addition, they are not constructed of durable materials. These pouches are not classifiable in heading 4202, HTSUSA. Styles GB 5001 and GB 5005, the larger pouches/bags, are not classifiable in heading 4202, HTSUSA, for the reason that they are not constructed of materials durable enough to indicate they are intended to be used as general purpose travel/carry and/or storage bags; rather, their durability is consistent with their intended use as gift bags, a more substantial substitute for wrapping paper but not durable enough for continued use for general purpose transport and travel.


The textile polyester pouches/bags at issue are classifiable in subheading 6307.90.9989, HTSUSA, as other made up articles of textile materials: other; other; other; other; other. The applicable duty rate is 7% ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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