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HQ 953398

September 15, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 953398 BC


TARIFF NO.: 4202.92.9015

Jack Barouh
Tempus International Corporation
19 West Flagler Street
Suite 511
Miami, Florida 33130

RE: Classification of watch folder made of cardboard and textile covered plastic sheeting; flock; jewelry box; similar container; suitable for long term use

Dear Mr. Barouh:

This responds to your letter of December 18, 1992, wherein you requested a classification ruling regarding a watch folder made of textile covered plastic sheeting sewn over a cardboard frame. A sample was provided for our examination.


You described the watch folder as a "[b]lack flocked acrylic velour pouch with plated corners" used as packaging for watches. In fact, it is a container that is more in the nature of a folder designed to hold a watch. It is made of plastic sheeting which has been covered by a (man-made) textile flock material. A cardboard frame has been sewn between two layers of the flocked sheeting material. The top half of the folder folds over the bottom half, covering a pocket into which a watch is placed. The corners of the top flap are covered with brass colored metal protectors. In its open condition, it is 9 1/2 by 4 1/2 inches; folded over, it is 9 1/2 by 2 7/16 inches.


What is the proper classification for the watch folder at issue?


Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that classification is determined in accordance with the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Where goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, the remaining rules will be applied in sequential order.

Heading 4202, HTSUSA, covers the following:

Trunks, suitcases, vanity cases, attache cases, briefcases, school satchels, spectacle cases, binocular cases, camera cases, musical instrument cases, gun cases, holsters and similar containers; travelling bags, toiletry bags, knapsacks and backpacks, handbags, shopping bags, wallets, purses, map cases, cigarette cases, tobacco pouches, tool bags, sports bags, bottle cases, jewelry boxes, powder cases, cutlery cases and similar containers, of leather or of composition leather, of plastic sheeting, of textile materials, of vulcanized fiber or of paperboard, or wholly or mainly covered with such materials or with paper.

The Explanatory Notes (EN's) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System constitute the official interpretation of the nomenclature at the international level. While not legally binding, they represent the considered views of classification experts of the Harmonized System Committee. It has been the practice of the Customs Service to follow, whenever possible, the terms of the EN's when interpreting the HTSUSA. In Treasury Decision (T.D.) 89-80, Customs stated that the EN's should always be consulted when classifying merchandise. (See T.D. 89-80, quoting from a report of the Joint Committee on the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988, that endorses the use of EN's in the classification of merchandise. 23 Cust. Bull. 379 (1989), 54 Fed. Reg. 35,127 (August 23, 1989).)

The EN's to heading 42.02 state, in pertinent part, the following (emphasis supplied):

The term "jewellery boxes" covers not only boxes specially designed for keeping jewellery, but also similar lidded containers of various dimensions (with or without hinges or fasteners) specially shaped or fitted to contain one or more pieces of jewellery and normally lined with textile material, of the type in which articles of jewellery are presented and sold and which are suitable for long term use.

This EN sets forth that there are two kinds of jewelry boxes. The first could be referred to as the ordinary kind, or, as the EN puts it, "boxes specially designed for keeping jewellery." This is the kind designed to hold several to many items of jewelry. Usually, these are used for storage in the home, but some (generally a smaller size) are designed also for travel. The second are the kind used in the retail sale of jewelry and similar items, as described in the underlined portion of the EN.

The watch folder at issue is used in the retail sale of a watch and is specially shaped or fitted to contain that watch. The pocket into which the watch is placed and the flap that covers the pocket offer protection for the watch. The watch folder, when handled with ordinary care, is adequately constructed to be suitable for repeated use over a prolonged period of time as a travel or storage folder. Thus, it is suitable for long term use.

Consequently, the watch folder is classifiable under heading 4202, HTSUSA, in accordance with the above EN. Because the material that comprises the outer surface is textile flock, classification will be under the subheading covering jewelry boxes with outer surface of textile materials.


The watch folder here at issue, made of textile flock covered plastic sheeting sewn over a cardboard frame, is classifiable under subheading 4202.92.9015, HTSUSA: Trunks, suitcases, . . . jewelry boxes . . . : Other: With outer surface of sheeting of plastics or of textile materials: Other: Other: With outer surface of textile materials: Other, jewelry boxes of a kind normally sold at retail with their contents. The applicable duty rate is 20% ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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