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HQ 958566

February 21, 1996
CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 958566 CAB


TARIFF NO.: 4202.92.3090

Port Director
U.S. Customs Service
Dallas/Fort Worth Airport
P.O. Box 619050
Dallas, TX 75261

RE: Request for Further Review of Protest No. 5501-95-100450, timely filed September 11, 1995, concerning the classification of a cosmetic bag

Dear Sir:

This is a decision on application for further review of a protest timely filed by Fritz Companies, Inc., on behalf of Pier 1 Imports, on September 11, 1995. A sample was submitted for examination.


The merchandise at issue is a zippered cosmetic/toiletry bag identified as Style 07105-77AN. The article is constructed of 100 percent wool fabric. The article contains a needlepoint floral design on the front and rear sides and measures 5" x 6".

The protestant entered the subject article under subheading 4202.32.9560 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Customs liquidated the article in subheading 4202.92.3040, HTSUSA.


What is the proper subheading for the article in question?


Classification of goods 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. Merchandise that cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 is to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI's taken in order.

Heading 4202, HTSUSA, provides for, among other articles, traveling bags, toiletry bags, and similar articles. It is clear that the subject article is classifiable under Heading 4202, HTSUSA. The question Customs Headquarters must address is whether the subject article is classifiable in subheading 4202.92, HTSUSA, or 4202.32, HTSUSA.

The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (EN), although not legally binding, are the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. The EN to subheadings 4202.31, 4202.32 and 4202.39 states that these subheadings cover articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or in the handbag and include spectacle cases, note-cases (bill-folds), wallets, purses, key-cases, cigarette-cases, cigar-cases, pipe-cases and tobacco-pouches.

Subheading 4202.92, HTSUSA, provides in part for travel, sports and similar bags. Additional U.S. Note 1 to Chapter 42, HTSUSA, states that:

[F]or 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 include binocular cases ,camera cases, musical instrument cases, bottle cases and similar containers.

The protestant asserts that the subject bag which measures 5"x 6" is small enough to be carried in a pocket or handbag and is therefore, classifiable in subheading 4202.32, HTSUSA. In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 951534, dated August 4, 1992, Customs noted the following:

Although a fine distinction is made with regard to whether 4202.92 or 4202.32, HTSUSA, controls the classification of cosmetic cases, this office has consistently made such determinations and concluded that subheading 4202.92, HTSUSA, more specifically provides for such articles. See, HRL 087419, dated July 12, 1990. In HRL 087419, Customs recognized that travel bags are articles designed to aid in organizing and providing a convenient carrying cases for an individual and not primarily for use as a handbag accessory. While it is true that some cosmetic cases, such as the three styles at issue, may be small enough to be carried in a handbag, subheading 4202.92, HTSUSA,
nevertheless provides more specifically for these articles because they are designed to transport personal effects, whether or not in a handbag, and this is the essence of a travel bag.

In light of the cited Customs Headquarters rulings, the instant cosmetic bag is also classifiable in subheading 4202.92, HTSUSA.


The subject cosmetic bag is properly classifiable in subheading 4202.92.3090, HTSUSA, which provides for travel, sports, and similar bags, with outer surface of textile materials, other, other, other. The applicable rate of duty is 19.5 percent ad valorem and the textile restraint category is 870. We note that initially the subject bag was classified in subheading 4202.92.3040, HTSUSA, since then, however the tariff schedule has been amended and the aforementioned subheading is applicable.

The protest should be denied and a copy of this ruling should be attached to the Customs Form 19 and provided to the protestant as part of the notice of action.

In accordance with Section 3(A)(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550-065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, this decision should be mailed by your office to the protestant, no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing of the decision. Sixty days from the date of the decision the Office of Regulations and Rulings will take steps to made the decision available to Customs personnel via the Customs Ruling Module in ACS and the public via the Diskette Subscription Service, Freedom of Information Act and other public access channels.


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification Appeals

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