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HQ 956657

April 11, 1995

CLA-2 R:C:T 956657 ch


TARIFF NO.: 4202.32.1000

District Director
U.S. Customs Service
1 East Bay Street
Savannah, Georgia 31401

RE: Application for further review of Protest No. 1703-94-100057 under 19 U.S.C., section 1514(c)(2); tariff classification of a clutch/wallet; handbag; article of a kind normally carried in the pocket or in the handbag.

Dear Sir:

This is a decision on application for further review of a protest timely filed by Kmart Corporation. We have considered the protest and our decision follows.


The submitted sample, identified as style 5762, is a fold over envelope style container with a snap flap closure. It measures approximately 7 1/2 inches by 4 inches in its closed position. The article features an exterior zippered coin/utility pocket. It opens to reveal credit card slots, an identification card window, a removable checkbook holder and slots suitable for inserting paper currency.

The merchandise was entered under subheading 4202.32.1000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), 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. However, it was classified in subheading 4202.22.1500, HTSUS, which provides for handbags, with outer surface of sheeting of plastic.


What is the proper tariff classification for the subject merchandise?


Heading 4202, HTSUS, provides inter alia for handbags and wallets. Subheadings 4202.22 through 4202.29, HTSUS, encompass handbags; subheadings 4202.31 through 4202.39, HTSUS, describe articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or handbag. The subheading Explanatory Note to heading 4202, at page 613, indicates that wallets are classified as articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or in the handbag. Pursuant to General Rule of Interpretation 6, classification of goods at the subheading level shall be effected mutatis mutandis with General Rules of Interpretation 1 through 5.

The term "wallet" is not defined in the HTSUS or in the applicable Explanatory Note to heading 4202, HTSUS. However, we note the following definitions of the term "wallet" from lexicographic sources:

Essential Terms of Fashion: A Collection of Definitions, Charlotte M. Calasibetta, Fairchild Publications, 1986: An item used to carry paper money, credit cards, photographs and sometimes with a change purse or space for a check book or pad.

The Fashion Dictionary, Mary Brooks Picken, Funk & Wagnalls, 1973: 1. Flat purse or pocketbook, for carrying either paper money or coins.

Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam Co., 1977: 1. a bag for carrying miscellaneous articles while traveling; 2 a: billfold b: a pocketbook with compartments for change, photographs, cards, and keys.

Webster's New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1988: 1. [Archaic] a knapsack; 2. a flat pocketbook, as of leather, with compartments for paper money, cards, etc.; billfold.

We also recognize that the term "handbag" has been defined as follows:

Essential Terms of Fashion: A Collection of Definitions: Accessory carried primarily by women and girls to hold such items as money, credit cards, and cosmetics.

The Fashion Dictionary: Soft or rigid bag carried in hand or on arm. Size, shape, handle, etc., depend on fashion. Used by women as container for money and pocket-sized accessories.

Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary: 1. traveling bag; 2. a woman's bag held in the hand or hung from a shoulder strap and used for carrying small personal articles and money.

Webster's New World Dictionary: A bag, usually of leather or cloth, held in the hand or hung by a strap from the arm or shoulder and used, by women, to carry money, keys, and personal effects.

We are of the opinion that the determinative feature of a handbag is its ability to hold several objects not associated with a wallet. In this instance, style 5762 is fitted to hold objects associated with a wallet. It is flat and possesses slots and pockets to hold credit cards, identification cards, paper currency and coins. In addition, it is of a size suitable for carrying in a handbag. The article does not possess sufficient capacity to hold small personal effects which are typically carried in the handbag (e.g., hairbrush, cosmetics, keys on a chain). Consequently, we conclude that style 5762 is most specifically described by the provision for articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or in the handbag.


Therefore, based on the foregoing discussion, this protest should be granted in full. A copy of this decision should be attached to the CF 19 Notice of Action to satisfy the notice requirement of section 174.30(a), Customs Regulations.

In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550-065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, this decision should be mailed by your office to the protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing of the decision. Sixty days from the date of the decision the Office of Regulations and Rulings will take steps to make the decision available to Customs personnel via the Customs Rulings Module in ACS and the public via the Diskette Subscription Service, Freedom of Information Act and other public access channels.


John A. Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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