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HQ 957974

September 1, 1995

CLA-2 R:C:T 957974 CMR


TARIFF NO: 4202.92.3030

Ms. Susan Kearney Duffy
Customs Specialist
International Merchandising
WAL-MART Stores, I.c
702 S.W. 8th Street
Bentonville, AR 72716-8023

RE: Revocation of District Ruling (DD) 808509 of April 21, 1995; Classification of a tote bag and a toiletry travel case

Dear Ms. Duffy:

DD 808509 was issued to you on April 21, 1995, and classified two tote bags, styles AL-72658 and AL-72674, as handbags in subheading 4202.22.8050, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Customs reviewed that ruling at the request of the National Import Specialist who handles this merchandise. We found the ruling to be in error. Therefore, we are revoking DD 808509.

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 DD 808509 was published August 2, 1995, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 29, Number 31.


Style AL-72658 is a tote bag which has an outer surface of nylon satin fabric with imitation patent leather trim. The bag measures 16" X 14" X 5". It has a top zippered closure, a zippered inside pocket, two U-shaped shoulder strap handles, and a vinyl lining. The front of the bag has a gold tone metal ornament affixed to the top front which reads "POISON", the trademark name for a Christian Dior fragrance. The bag is similar to a shopper or general purpose carry all.

Style AL-72674 is a toiletry travel case which has an outer surface, front and back, of nylon fabric with imitation patent leather trim. The bag is rectangular in shape; has a top zipper closure, and a vinyl lining; and, does not have a carrying handle or strap. The front of the case has a gold tone metal ornament which bears the trademark "PARFUMS CHRISTIAN DIOR". The case measures 6.5" X 6" X 3".

This office did not receive samples with the request to review DD 808509. Therefore, the above descriptions are based upon the descriptions in DD 808509 and the report supplied to us by the National Import Specialist who handles this merchandise.


Were styles AL-72658 and AL-72674 properly classified as handbags in DD 808509?


Classification of goods under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). 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 GRIs taken in order]."

Subheading 4202.22, HTSUS, provides for "handbags, whether or not with shoulder strap, including those without handle." Subheading 4202.92, HTSUS, provides for other articles not more specifically provided for in the preceding subheadings of 4202, HTSUS, and with an outer surface of sheeting of plastic or of textile materials. Included within subheading 4202.92, HTSUS, are travel, sports and similar bags.

Additional U.S. Note 1, Chapter 42, provides:

For the purposes of heading 4202, the expression "travel, sports and similar bags" means goods, other than those falling in subheadings 4202.11 through 4202.39, of a kind designed for carrying clothing and other personal effects during travel, including backpacks and shopping bags of this heading, but does not included binocular cases, camera cases musical instrument cases, bottle cases and similar containers.

The term "handbag" is not defined in the HTSUS, however, Customs has recognized in earlier rulings the following definitions: -3-

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

From 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.

From 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.

From 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.

See, Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 957246 of March 29, 1995, and HRL 956666 of May 30, 1995.

The goods at issue were identified in the ruling and DD 808509 as tote bags. Designation as "tote" bags, however, is not definitive of classification. The National Import Specialist who handles this merchandise found advertisements for virtually identical merchandise as tote bags in which the bags were promoted as carry-alls for holding a variety of items.

Customs views tote bags, generally, as multipurpose bags which are used to carry any number of sundry items, such as food, clothing, shoes, etc. See, HRL 950708 of December 24, 1991. As such, these bags are not viewed as handbags, which based upon the above cited definitions, are generally limited in use to carry a collection of relatively small personal items such as money, cosmetics, wallets, keys, etc.. Instead, Customs views these bags as similar to travel bags in that they are used to carry personal effects from place-to-place.


DD 808509 misclassified the subject goods as handbags in subheading 4202.22.8050. The goods are properly classified in the provision for travel, sports and similar bags with an outer surface of textile materials, of man-made fibers in subheading 4202.92.3030, HTSUSA. Therefore, DD 808509 is hereby revoked.

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 -4-
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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