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HQ 957019

December 20, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M: 957019 DFC


TARIFF NO.: 7018.90.50

Mr. Steven Lambert
325 West Clarkstown Road
Spring Valley, New York 10977

RE: Bags, ladies, evening; glass beaded shoulder bags; Beads, glass; HRL's 083395 and 084250; NYRL's 874233 and 876196 modified

Dear Mr. Lambert:

This is in reference to New York Ruling Letters (NYRL's) 874233 and 876196, dated June 3, and July 17, 1992, respectively, addressed to you, on behalf of Innovative Products International Inc., by the Area Director of Customs, New York Seaport, concerning, in part, the tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of two glass beaded evening bags. We have reviewed these rulings and determined that they are in error. Pursuant to section 625, Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625) as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993) (hereinafter "section 625"), notice of the proposed modification of NYRL's 874233 and 876196 was published on November 16, 1994, in the CUSTOMS BULLETIN, Volume 28, Number 45/46.


The merchandise in issue is described as follows:

Black beaded evening Bag "Sung" is a lady's black shoulder bag which has a rectangular shape and measures approximately 4-1/4" x 3-3/4" x 1/2". The sides of the bag are completely covered with black glass rods and the edges and bottom of the bag are completely covered with black glass beads. The interior of the bag is covered with nylon. The bag is secured by an overlapping flap with a magnetic snap closure and a textile tassel affixed at the front of the snap closure.

Colored Round Beaded Evening Bag "Mackie" is a lady's multicolored shoulder bag which has a cylindrical shape and measures approximately 5-3/4 inches in height and 3-1/3 inches in diameter. The round lid and sides of the bag are completely covered with glass rods (arranged in multicolored diamond patterns) and beads (which border the diamonds). The bottom and the interior of the bag are covered with black nylon. The strap of the bag is a textile cord which passes through two metal grommets in the lid and is attached to the inside wall of the bag.

In NYRL's 874233 and 876196, Customs ruled that both glass beaded evening bags are classifiable under subheading 7018.10.50, HTSUS, which provides for glass beads, and articles thereof, glass beads, other. The applicable rate of duty for this provision is 4.7% ad valorem.


Are the evening bags considered handbags, or glass beads or articles of glass beads for tariff purposes?


Classification of goods under the HTSUS is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). 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 headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to [the remaining GRI's]." In other words, classification is governed first by the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

Handbags are generally classified under heading 4202, HTSUS, which provides for inter alia, handbags of leather or of composition leather, of plastic sheeting, of textile materials, or vulcanized fiber or of paperboard, or wholly or mainly covered with such materials. However, the handbags before us are made of textile material, glass beads and de minimis amounts of metal.

At first glance, it appears the evening bags may be classifiable in heading 4202, HTSUS, or heading 7018, HTSUS, which provides for, inter alia, glass beads and articles thereof other than imitation jewelry.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN) to the HTSUS, although not dispositive should be looked to for the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. See T.D. 89-80, 54 FR 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989). The EN to heading 4202, HTSUS, states in pertinent part, at page 613, the following:

This heading covers only the articles specifically named therein and similar containers . . . . The articles covered by the second part of the heading must, however, be only of the materials specified therein or must be wholly or mainly covered with such materials or with paper (the foundation may be of wood, metal, etc.) . . . .

It appears clear from the EN's that in order to be classified within the provisions of heading 4202, HTSUS, the evening bags at issue must be only of textile materials, not textile materials and glass beads, or must have outer surfaces which are wholly or mainly covered with textile materials. Since the evening bags are completely covered [style "Sung"] or mainly covered [style "Mackie"] with glass beads, they cannot be classified under heading 4202, HTSUS, because they do not fall within the terms of the heading.

The EN to heading 7018, HTSUS, at page 942, contain an exclusion for "[h]andbags and similar articles of leather or fabric, decorated with glass beads, imitation pearls or imitation precious or semi-precious stones (heading 42.02)." We do not believe this exclusion precludes classification of the instant evening bags under heading 7018, HTSUS, because the instant bags have their essential character imparted by the beads and thus are not considered "of fabric" or merely "decorated" with the beads with the meaning of the EN. Therefore, because these evening bags are entirely or mainly covered with glass beads, they are not classifiable under heading 4202, HTSUS.

The glass beaded evening bags are something more than the "glass beads" provided for in subheading 7018.10.50, HTSUS. They are in fact articles of glass beads viz., evening bags the essential character of which is imparted by the glass beads. Consequently, the evening bags are classifiable under subheading 7018.90.50, HTSUS. See HRL 084250 dated July 14, 1989, and 083395 dated February 12, 1990.


The glass beaded evening bags are considered articles of glass beads for tariff purposes.

The glass beaded evening bags are dutiable at the rate of 6.6% ad valorem under subheading 7018.90.50, HTSUS.

Accordingly, NYRL's 874233 and 876196 are modified to reflect the correct classification of the glass beaded evening bags. In accordance with section 625, this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the CUSTOMS BULLETIN. Publication of rulings or decisions pursuant to section 625 does not constitute a change of practice or position in accordance with section 177.10(c)(1), Customs Regulations (19 CFR


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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