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HQ 957464

April 18, 1995

CLA-2 R:C:T 957464 ch


TARIFF NO.: 6307.90.9989

Peter G. Selley
Treemore Industries, Inc.
115 Healey Road
Bolton, Ontario L7E 5R3

RE: Revocation of NYRL 804280; tariff classification of a drawstring bag; gift bag.

Dear Mr. Selley:

This is in response to your letter, dated December 14, 1994, requesting reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 804280, dated November 21, 1994. In that decision, we classified a textile drawstring bag in subheading 4202.92.3030, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for travel, sports and similar bags of man-made fibers.

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 revocation of NYRL 804280 was published March 15, 1995, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 29, Number 11.


The submitted sample is a cotton drawstring bag measuring approximately 15 1/2 inches by 6 1/2 inches. You state that the bag is marketed as an alternative to paper gift wrapping for liquor bottles. In NYRL 804280, the bag was classified in subheading 4202.92.3030, HTSUS, which provides for travel, sports and similar bags of man-made fibers.


What is the proper tariff classification for the cotton drawstring bag?


Heading 4202, HTSUS, provides for:

Trunks, suitcases, vanity cases, attache cases, briefcases, school satchels, spectacle cases, binocular cases, 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.

Thus, the heading encompasses the enumerated containers and containers similar thereto. In Totes, Incorporated v. United States, Slip Opinion 94-154, the Court of International Trade held that "the essential characteristics and purpose of the Heading 4202 exemplars are...to organize, store, protect and carry various items."

Heading 6307, HTSUS, provides for other textile articles not more specifically described elsewhere in the tariff schedule. The Explanatory Note (EN) to heading 6307, at page 867, states in pertinent part that the provision includes:

(5) Domestic laundry or shoe bags, stocking, handkerchief or slipper sachets, pyjama or nightdress cases and similar articles.

(6) Garment bags (portable wardrobes) other than those of heading 42.02.

In addition, the EN to heading 6307, at page 868, states that the heading excludes "travel goods (suit-cases, rucksacks, etc.), shopping-bags, toilet-cases, etc., and all similar containers of heading 42.02." It should be noted that articles such as laundry or shoe bags may take the form of a drawstring bag or pouch.

The foregoing indicates that travel containers of heading 4202, HTSUS, are excluded from heading 6307. Moreover, the exemplars cited as examples of bags classifiable within heading 6307 suggest that certain storage bags are excluded from heading 4202. In practice, the distinction between travel and storage bags is often difficult to apply. For example, garment bags, shoe bags and similar bags may be principally used for either storage or travel depending upon their construction or design. Furthermore, heading 4202 is not limited to containers used for travel purposes. For example, jewelry boxes are classifiable under heading 4202, despite the fact that they are principally used to store and/or display their contents. Other containers of heading 4202, including cutlery cases, cigarette cases and similar cases, may principally be used for storage purposes, depending upon their construction.

In marginal circumstances, we regard the substantiality of the container as a pertinent consideration. Substantial containers are more likely to be used for carrying purposes and are better able to protect their contents. The term "substantial" in this context refers not only to the material composition of the article, but also to whether it has been designed for repetitive use. Thus, lined jewelry pouches constructed of quality materials have been classified in heading 4202 as they were suitable for use during travel. See Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 950000, dated October 31, 1991.

In addition, the Explanatory Note to heading 4202 excludes certain containers which are not specially shaped or fitted. For example, jewelry boxes of a kind sold at retail with their contents are classified in the heading only if they are specially shaped or fitted to hold their contents and suitable for long-term use. We regard this requirement as a relevant consideration when classifying merchandise at the periphery of the heading. Containers which are specially shaped or fitted are better suited for organizing and storing merchandise. Thus, jewelry pouches have been excluded from heading 4202 when of an insubstantial nature and not fitted to hold jewelry. See HRL 953176, dated March 16, 1993.

In this instance, the bag is insubstantial in the sense that it is not designed for travel or to store or protect its contents. While the bag is capable of re-use, it is designed principally as an alternative for gift wrapping and functions as an attractive means for presenting its contents. Moreover, while the pouch is of a size suitable for wrapping a liquor bottle and will be used for this purpose, it is not regarded as specially shaped or fitted. The bag does not feature internal fittings to accommodate a bottle. In addition, it is not shaped to the form of its contents and is capable of holding bottles of various dimensions, as well as any number of smaller items. In HRL 956234, dated November 14, 1994, we classified similar merchandise in heading 6307, HTSUS. Therefore, based on the foregoing, we conclude that the drawstring bag is excluded from heading 4202, HTSUS, and is properly classified in heading 6307, HTSUS.


NYRL 804280 is hereby revoked. The subject merchandise is classifiable under subheading 6307.90.9989, HTSUS, which provides for other made up articles, including dress patterns: other: other: other, other: other. The applicable rate of duty is 7 percent ad valorem.

In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625, this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin. Publication of rulings or decision pursuant to section 625 does not constitute a change of practice of position in accordance with section 177.10(c)(1), Customs Regulations (19 CFR


John Durant, Director

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