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HQ 084605

August 24, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 084605 HP


TARIFF NO.: 4202.99.0000

Ms. Janice A. Scribano
Traffic Manager
Test-Rite Products
395 Allwood Road
Clifton, NJ 07012

RE: Classification of a molded plastic tool box

Dear Ms. Scribano:

This is in reply to your letter of April 18, 1989, concerning the tariff classification of a molded plastic "Heavy Duty Tuffcase," produced in Taiwan, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The merchandise at issue consists of a molded polypropylene plastic tool box. A sample has not been received by this office.

The item appears to be similar in design to an attache case. It has a top carrying handle, secure locks, and an interior divided into compartments. The case is designed so it can be mounted to a wall. The original Tuffcase is manufactured in the United States; replication in Taiwan is possible based upon the results of this ruling.


What is the classification of plastic molded tool boxes designed to be carried with the person under the HTSUSA?


Heading 4202, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, suitcases, briefcases, binocular cases, musical instrument cases, and similar containers. We must therefore define the term "similar containers" as utilized in the heading.

In HRL 084605 of June 30, 1989, enclosed, we ruled upon a similar tool box composed of metal. We observed that the exem- plars named within heading 4202, e.g., "vanity cases, camera cases, binocular cases, gun cases and suitcases are designed to be carried with the person." HRL 084605 went on to state that

[i]n the case of DRI Industries, Inc. v. United States, 657 F. Supp. 528 (CIT 1987), aff'd [sic.], Appeal No. 87-1301 [832 F.2d 155] (Fed. Cir., decided October 28, 1987), the court ruled that a tool chest designed to store and organize tools and also be carried with the person from place to place was properly classifiable as luggage for tariff purposes. In determining that a tool box was ejusdem generis with the exemplars listed in Schedule 7, Part 1, Subpart D, Headnote 2(a)(ii), Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS), the court observed that "[t]he exemplars listed in 2(a)(ii)

represent a category of containers or cases which are designed to store, organize and protect those contents from which the containers derive their name.

Further, the court explained that "[t]he exemplars in subsection (ii) are containers or cases which are designed to hold specific items which give them their names: brief cases to hold papers, school bags to hold school articles, golf bags to hold golf equipment, gun cases to hold guns, camera cases to hold cameras, * *

We realize that the DRI Industries case, supra [sic.], is not controlling here because it was decided under a different tariff act. However, its logic is clearly applicable noting the wording and structure of heading 4202, HTSUSA.

As a result, it is our opinion that the instant merchandise is classifiable as containers similar to the enumerated articles in the first part of heading 4202, HTSUSA.

Subheading 4202.19, HTSUSA, provides for trunks, suitcases, vanity cases, attache cases, briefcases, school satchels, and similar containers, of other materials. Subheading 4202.99, HTSUSA, provides for other containers not covered by the previous subheadings of 4202.

We find it significant that subheading 4202.19 omits specta- cle cases, binocular cases, camera cases, musical instrument cases, gun cases, and holsters, which are also provided for in the first segment of heading 4202. We also note that musical instrument cases, listed with the above omissions, are separately provided for in subheading 4202.92.5000: not as an article similar to those of subheading 4202.19, but as an "other."

It is our opinion, therefore, that the "similar containers" text of subheadings 4202.11 through 4202.19, HTSUSA, was not intended to be the catch-all phrase for those articles enumerated in the first part of heading 4202, but not provided for in, or similar to, the text of subheadings 4202.11 through 4202.19.


As a result of the foregoing, the merchandise at issue is classified under subheading 4202.99.0000, HTSUSA, as containers similar to those enumerated in the first part of heading 4202, not more specifically provided for in other headings of Chapter 42, other, other. The applicable rate of duty is 20 percent ad valorem.

All previous rulings inconsistent with this result are hereby modified accordingly.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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