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HQ 957845

May 4, 1995

CLA-2 R:C:T 957845 ch


TARIFF NO.: 4202.12.6000

Rahul Singh
Gadjraj & Sons Import & Export
6600 N.W. 82 Avenue
Miami, Florida 33166

RE: Tariff classification and North American Free Trade Agreement eligibility for a pullman suitcase.

Dear Mr. Singh:

This is in response to your letter, dated February 9, 1995, requesting a ruling on the tariff classification and the applicability of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) preferential treatment for a pullman suitcase. Your request was forwarded to this office for a response. No sample was submitted.


The following materials and components will be exported from China to Mexico:

Item Composition

Zipper Iron Wire
Locks and Keys Iron
Piping Iron
Wheel Plates Iron
Wheels Iron and Rubber
Rivets Iron
Handles Rubber
Washers Iron
Metal Frame Iron

Item (Continued) Composition

Clip-on Plastic
Zipper Pullers Iron
Corner Board Wood Pulp
Name Tags PVC/Plastic
Wood Board Plywood
Thread 60 percent Cotton/40 percent
Material 60 percent Jute/40 percent
Poly Strip 60 percent Cotton/40 percent

In Mexico, the jute fabric will be cut to specific size and the components will be assembled by means of sewing and riveting operations. The finished suitcases will be inspected and packed prior to exportation to the United States. The packing cartons will be manufactured in the United States.


What is the proper tariff classification for the suitcase?

Does the suitcase qualify for NAFTA preferential treatment?



The pullman suitcase is classifiable in subheading 4202.12.6000, HTSUS, which provides in part for suitcases, with outer surface of vegetable fibers and not of pile or tufted construction (other than cotton).

NAFTA Preference Eligibiity

General Note 12(b), HTSUS, provides in pertinent part that:

For the purposes of this note, goods imported into the customs territory of the United States are eligible for the tariff treatment and quantitative limitations set forth in the tariff schedule as "goods originating in the territory of a NAFTA party" only if --

(i) they are goods wholly obtained or produced entirely in the territory of Canada, Mexico and/or the United States; or

(ii) they have been transformed in the territory of Canada, Mexico and/or the United States so that --

(A) except as provided in subdivision (f) of this note, each of the non-originating materials used in the production of such goods undergoes a change in tariff classification described in subdivisions (r), (s) and (t) of this note or the rules set forth therein, or

(B) the goods otherwise satisfy the applicable requirements of subdivisions (r), (s) and (t) where no change in tariff classification is required, and the goods satisy all other requirements of this note; or

(iii) they are goods produced entirely in the territory of Canada, Mexico and/or the United States exclusively from originating materials.

In this instance, by virtue of General Note 12(b)(ii)(A), the pullman suitcase is an originating good for NAFTA purposes. General Note 12(b)(ii)(A) specifies in pertinent part that goods which undergo a change in tariff classification described in subdivision (t) qualify as originating goods. General Note 12(t), Chapter 42, Rule 3, provides:

A change to subheading 4202.12 from any other chapter, except from headings 5407, 5408 or 5512 through 5516 or tariff items 5903.10.15, 5903.10.18, 5903.10.20, 5903.10.25, 5903.20.15, 5903.20.18, 5903.20.20, 5903.20.25, 5903.90.15, 5903.90.18, 5903.90.20, 5903.90.25, 5906.99.20, 5906.99.25, 5907.00.05, 5907.00.15 or 5907.00.60.

Thus, if the materials and parts exported from China are separately classifiable in chapters other than Chapter 42, HTSUS, and are not one of the enumerated exceptions to the rule, the finished pullman suitcase will qualify for NAFTA preferential treatment.

The suitcase is comprised of parts composed of iron, plastic, rubber and wood. Articles composed of these materials are generally classified in Chapters 73, 39, 40 and 44, HTSUS, respectively. Woven fabric weighing predominently of jute materials is classifiable in Chapter 53, subheading 5310.90.0000, HTSUS. The cotton thread is classified in Chapter 52, HTSUS. Moreover, the reference to poly strip predominently of cotton would appear to meet the description of a narrow fabric, classifiable in Chapter 58, heading 5806, HTSUS. Therefore, the parts and materials exported from China are not classifiable in Chapter 42, HTSUS, at the time of importation into Mexico. Furthermore, the parts and materials are not specifically excepted from General Note 12(t), Chapter 42, Rule 3. Consequently, the finished suitcase qualifies for NAFTA preferential treatment.


The subject merchandise is classifiable under subheading 4202.12.6000, HTSUS, which provides for trunks, suitcases, vanity cases, attache cases, briefcases, school satchels and similar containers: with outer surface of textile materials: of vegetable fibers and not of pile or tufted construction: other. The textile category is 870.

The merchandise is eligible for preferential treatment under the NAFTA. At this time, the applicable rate of duty for such goods from Mexico is 5.2 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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