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HQ 959384

August 26, 1997

CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 959384 GGD


TARIFF NO.: 4202.22.8050

Mr. Arlen T. Epstein
Serko & Simon
One World Trade Center, Suite 3371
New York, New York 10048

RE: Small Handbag with Bound Inserts; Headings 4820 and 4202, HTSUS; Diaries; Handbags; Note 1(h) to Chapter 48, HTSUS

Dear Mr. Epstein:

This letter is in response to your request of March 14, 1996 and April 12, 1996, on behalf of your client, Sarne Corporation, concerning the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) of an article made in China, which is composed of a small handbag containing two bound inserts - an organizer/calendar and a telephone/address book. A sample article was submitted with the request.


The sample article, identified by style number 56036S, and described as a "Main Street Agenda," resembles a small handbag. The article is composed of man-made textile materials and measures approximately 4-3/4 inches in height in the closed position (10-3/4 inches when open) by 7-1/2 inches in width by 1-1/2 inch in depth. A detachable carrying strap allows the item to be carried either over the shoulder or in the hand similar to a clutch purse. There is an exterior slot compartment, in front of which is a zippered pocket, the left side of which is gusseted to allow for outward expansion. The item's interior features five separate compartments extending the full width of the bag, -2-
two of which are gusseted on both sides providing a capacity to hold three-dimensional objects. One of the gusseted compartments has a snap top closure. The remaining three compartments are slots or sleeves designed to hold a removable checkbook jacket and two bound booklet inserts - one for addresses and telephone numbers and the other for daily planning and notations. One of the slot compartments also has additional slots for credit cards and a plastic window for display of an i.d. card or photograph.


Whether the article is classified as a diary/address book in heading 4820, HTSUS, or as a handbag in heading 4202, HTSUS.


Classification under the HTSUS is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods shall be determined according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative Section or Chapter Notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI may then be applied. The Explanatory Notes (EN) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, which represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, facilitate classification under the HTSUS by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRI.

Heading 4202, HTSUS, provides, in part, for handbags, wallets, and similar containers. The exemplars named in heading 4202 have in common the purpose of organizing, storing, protecting, and carrying various items. Despite the presence of additional components of stationery, style no. 56036S has the features and physical characteristics associated with wallets and handbags. We thus find that the article is prima facie classifiable in heading 4202.

Among other merchandise, heading 4820, HTSUS, covers notebooks, diaries, and similar articles. Note 1(h) to chapter 48, HTSUS, states that "This chapter does not cover: Articles of heading 4202 (for example, travel goods)." As previously noted, GRI 1 requires that "classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes." Other GRI may be used "provided such headings or notes -3-
do not otherwise require." In this case, competition between two headings is resolved by chapter note 1(h), which excludes articles of heading 4202 from Chapter 48. Since this note requires that other GRI not be used to determine classification, the "Main Street Agenda" is classified pursuant to GRI 1, under heading 4202. See also Headquarters Ruling Letters (HQ) 959791 and HQ 959792, both issued February 11, 1997.


The article described as the "Main Street Agenda" (style no. 56036S) is classified in subheading 4202.22.8050, HTSUSA, textile category 670, the provision for "Handbags, whether or not with shoulder strap, including those without handle: With outer surface of sheeting of plastic or of textile materials: With outer surface of textile materials: Other: Other: Other, Of man-made fibers." The general column one duty rate is 19.3 percent ad valorem.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, 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 renegotiations and changes, to obtain the most current information available, we suggest that you 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 available for inspection at your local Customs office.

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


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