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HQ 958178

January 30, 1996
CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 958178 SK


TARIFF NO.: 4202.92.3030

Joel Simon
Serko & Simon
One World Trade Center, ste.3371
New York, N.Y. 10048

RE: Reconsideration of DD 811414 (6/30/95); classification of a nylon tote bag that folds into the internal compartment of an article similar to a leather wallet; 4202.92.3030; GRI 1; this article is not prima facie classifiable under two or more headings because it is not within the class or kind of articles commonly known as wallets or handbags.

Dear Mr. Simon:

On June 30, 1995, the Customs port at Detroit issued you, on behalf of your client, RGA Accessories, Inc., District Ruling (DD) 811414 in which a collapsible tote bag was classified under subheading 4202.92.3030, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). You have petitioned this office for a reconsideration of DD 811414 and ask for a reclassification of the subject merchandise as a leather handbag under subheading 4202.21.6000, HTSUSA. Our analysis follows.

A sample was submitted to this office for examination and will be returned to you, as per your request, under separate cover.


The article at issue is referenced style number 130 (9431/B1) and is marketed as the "Magic Bag." It consists of a collapsible woven nylon tote bag that can be folded into the middle internal compartment of a leather article that is similar to a wallet. In its folded state, the outer surface is of leather. "Magic Bag" features a detachable strap which is used to transport the bag in its folded state. One side folds open to reveal a compartment with slots which accommodate credit cards, identification cards, business cards and a check book. The other side of the article has an external side pocket secured with a velcro-like patch. The pocket has an expandable gusset which extends approximately two inches and measures approximately 6-1/2 inches in diameter and 3-3/4 inches in depth. The middle compartment is secured by a three-sided zipper. Inside is folded a nylon tote bag with two woven handles and an unsecured top. The unfolded tote bag measures approximately 22 inches by 15 inches. In its unfolded state, the leather portion of this article hangs internally to one side, below the handles.


What is the proper classification of the "Magic Bag?"


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA 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, taken in order. Merchandise that cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 is to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI's. Pursuant to GRI 6, classification of goods at the subheading level shall be effected mutatis mutandis with GRI's 1 through 5.

As the subject merchandise consists of a nylon tote bag which is capable of being folded into a leather compartment which is designed in a manner similar to a wallet, the threshold question is whether this article is prima facie classifiable under two or more headings of the nomenclature.

Heading 4202, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, tote bags, wallets and handbags. Subheading 4202.92, HTSUSA, encompasses tote bags; subheading 4202.21, HTSUSA, includes leather handbags; and subheading 4202.31, HTSUSA, provides for articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or handbag, with an outer surface of leather.

Examination of the physical attributes of the "Magic Bag" yields the finding that the article is prima facie classifiable as a tote bag under subheading 4202.92, HTSUSA. It is designed in a manner similar to the travel and shopping bags of this subheading. Tote bags are often designed to contain pockets for valuables, currency, and accessories, etc... . It appears that this particular tote is designed in such a manner so as to provide an individual with an attractive and functional means to carry various small to large size articles while at the same time enabling the user to carry the means of paying for purchases. This office has consistently classified substantially similar articles as shopping bags in previous rulings. See Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 041791, dated January 2, 1976 and HRL 082476, dated October 31, 1988.

The next issue is whether the subject bag is also prima facie classifiable as a wallet or a handbag. In HRL 957220, dated October 31, 1994, this office provided various lexicographic definitions of "wallet" and "handbag" in order to better understand what is commonly contemplated by these terms. The definitions follow:


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; 2a: 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.


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.

In your submission to this office, you argue that the "Magic Bag" is properly classifiable as a leather handbag of subheading 4202.21, HTSUSA. A review of the above-cited definitions of "handbag" reveals that each lexicographic source describes a bag used by women which is designed to carry money, credit cards, keys and small or pocket-sized personal effects. By virtue of the "Magic Bag's" oversize dimensions and unsecured top, it is clear that it is designed to carry much more than small pocket-size accessories; rather, it is designed to carry the assorted purchases acquired during a shopping trip or to carry the assorted larger items that an individual might find cause to carry while shopping or running errands (i.e., items to return, repair, have cleaned, baby items, etc... .) The design, dimensions and intended use of the "Magic Bag" indicate that it is beyond the commonly accepted scope of a ladies' handbag and therefore it is not prima facie classifiable under subheading 4202.21, HTSUSA.

Similarly, the subject bag is not prima facie classifiable as a wallet. Although you did not propose that the subject article be classified as a wallet under subheading 4202.31, HTUSA, this office notes that similarly designed articles, without the tote bag, have been classified as such. In the instant case, however, we find that the tote bag styling of the "Magic Bag" renders it beyond the scope of what is commonly and commercially known as a wallet. That the "Magic Bag" possesses wallet-like features which are on the article's exterior when the tote is in its folded state does not alter the fact that the entire item is, at all times, a tote bag and no similarly designed article is ever recognized as a wallet. Accordingly, the "Magic Bag" is not prima facie classifiable under subheading 4202.31, HTSUSA.

Although the "Magic Bag" is comprised of a nylon component and a leather component, it is not prima facie classifiable under two different subheadings and therefore GRI 1 provides the appropriate classification analysis. It is on this basis that we disagree with the classification analysis set forth in your submission to this office. You argue that the subject merchandise is subject to a GRI 3 analysis in that it is classifiable under two different subheadings, as a tote and as a handbag. In support of your argument, you cite HRL 081193, dated August 2, 1988, in which this office stated, "Devices consisting of more than one component are considered to be prima facie classifiable under two or more headings, provided that at least two of the components are classifiable in different headings of the HTSUSA." The latter part of this statement provides the determinative standard in this case: the article must be prima facie classifiable under two or more headings. As stated above, that is not the case here. There is only one heading which provides for the "Magic Bag" in its entirety, and that is subheading 4202.92.3030, HTSUSA.


DD 811414 is affirmed.

Style number 130 (9431/B1) is classifiable under subheading 4202.92.3030, HTSUSA, which provides for, in pertinent part, "[T]ravel, sports and similar bags: with outer surface of textile materials: other... other: of man-made fibers," dutiable at a rate of 19.5 percent ad valorem. The applicable textile quota category is 670.

The designated textile and apparel categories may be subdivided into parts. If so, the visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected. Since part categories are the result of international bilateral agreements which are subject to frequent and changes, to obtain the most current information available we suggest that your client check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report on Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an internal issuance of the U.S. Customs Service which is updated weekly and is available for inspection at a local Customs office.

Due to the nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories, your client should contact the local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification Appeals Division

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