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HQ 960757

August 26, 1997

CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 960757 GGD


TARIFF NO.: 6307.90.9989

Susan Kohn Ross, Esquire
S.K. Ross & Associates, P.C.
5777 West Century Boulevard, Suite 520
Los Angeles, California 90045-5659

RE: Textile Drawstring Pouches; Headings 4202 and 6307, HTSUS

Dear Ms. Ross:

This letter is in response to your request of January 6, 1997, on behalf of your client, Intercom Packaging USA, Inc., concerning the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) of drawstring pouches made in China. A sample was submitted with the request.


You state that the pouches will be imported without contents and will be of 2 sizes, the larger of which will measure 5 inches by 7 inches. The sample article (the smaller size) is a flat pouch which measures approximately 3-1/2 inches in width by 4-1/4 inches in height. The article is said to be composed of "ecosuede," a blended fabric of 51 percent cotton and 49 percent nylon. Examination of the sample indicates that the fabric is constructed of a woven textile material with an outer surface of flocking material. "Flock" is a textile material defined in heading 5601, HTS, as "textile fibers, not exceeding 5 millimeters in length." The pouch is not lined and has no internal or external pockets or special fittings. It is capable of holding a variety of small items. The pouch's opening at the top is drawn closed when the ends of a thin, braided string are pulled in opposite directions. -2-


Whether the drawstring pouches are properly classified in heading 4202, HTSUS, or in heading 6307, 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.

Drawstring pouches of textile materials have been classified in both headings 4202 and 6307, HTSUS, depending upon their construction and the purpose(s) for which they are designed. Pouches classified outside of heading 4202, HTSUS, are generally those considered not specially designed to contain particular item(s), or not adequately constructed to sustain repeated use.

Heading 4202, HTSUS, provides for "Trunks, suitcases, vanity cases...spectacle cases, binocular cases, camera cases, musical instrument cases, gun cases, holsters and similar containers; traveling bags...wallets, purses, map cases, cigarette cases, tobacco pouches...bottle cases, jewelry boxes...and similar containers, of leather or of composition leather, of sheeting of plastics, of textile materials, of vulcanized fiber or of paperboard, or wholly or mainly covered with such materials or with paper."

The EN to heading 4202 suggest that the expression "similar containers" in the first part of the heading includes hat boxes, camera accessory cases, cartridge pouches, sheaths for hunting or camping knives, portable tool boxes or cases, specially shaped or internally fitted to contain particular tools with or without their accessories, etc. With regard to the second part of heading 4202, the EN indicate that the expression "similar containers" includes note-cases, writing-cases, pen-cases, ticket-cases, needle-cases, key-cases, cigar-cases, pipe-cases, tool and jewellery rolls, shoe-cases, brush-cases, etc. -3-

In Totes, Incorporated v. United States, 18 C.I.T. ___, 865 F. Supp. 867 (1994), aff'd, 14 Fed. Cir. (T) ___, 69 F.3d 495 (1995), the Court of International Trade held that the essential characteristics and purposes of the heading 4202 exemplars are to organize, store, protect and carry various items. With respect to the broad reach of the residual provision for "similar containers" in heading 4202 by virtue of the rule of ejusdem generis, the Court found that the rule requires only that the imported merchandise possess the essential character or purpose running through all of the enumerated exemplars.

Depending somewhat upon the item(s) they may be required to hold, the pouches at issue provide little in the way of protection and portability. Despite the sample's outer surface flocking, the constituent fabric is fairly flimsy and the pouch has no lining. The braided string by which the pouch would be carried is also quite thin. The featureless interior of the pouch offers no means by which contents would be organized. Aside from its being suitable for the storage of contents, the pouch lacks the essential characteristics running through the heading 4202 exemplars enumerated above.

Heading 6307, HTSUS, covers other made up textile articles, including dress patterns. The EN to heading 6307 indicate that the heading covers made up articles of any textile material which are not included more specifically in other headings of Section XI or elsewhere in the Nomenclature. The EN state, in pertinent part, that the heading includes domestic laundry or shoe bags and similar articles. The EN suggest that the heading excludes, among other goods, travel goods (suit-cases, rucksacks, etc.), shopping-bags, toilet-cases, etc., and all similar containers of heading 4202.

You have cited to several Headquarters Ruling Letters (HQ) to support assertions that your client's pouches are properly classified under heading 6307, HTSUS. In HQ 954403, issued November 16, 1993, this office classified a textile drawstring pouch that measured 3-1/2 inches by 7 inches and was intended for use as a container for sunglasses, in subheading 6307.90.9986, HTSUSA, the provision for "Other made up articles, including dress patterns: Other: Other: Other, Other: Other." The pouch was found to be of substantial construction and capable of repeated use. However, because many items in addition to a pair of glasses could be placed inside the pouch, it was considered to be not specially designed to hold a particular article. It was also noted that the pouch possessed no special features (e.g., pockets, compartments, etc.). See also HQ 956234, issued November 14, 1994. -4-

In HQ 957473, issued March 6, 1995, two drawstring pouches similar to those under consideration here were classified in subheading 6307.90.9989, HTSUSA. The pouches measured approximately 5 inches by 7-1/4 inches and were composed of woven rayon fabric with an external surface of man-made fiber flocking. This office noted the resemblance in form between drawstring pouches and laundry/shoe bags of heading 6307, HTSUS, and further noted the difficulty in distinguishing between (4202) travel bags and (6307) storage bags. We stated that the substantiality of a container (referring to an article's material composition and to whether it had been designed for repetitive use) was a pertinent consideration in marginal circumstances.

In HQ 957473, we determined that the two pouches would be used to store their contents and that they were capable of repetitive use. The pouches were found, however, to be insubstantial containers not designed for travel due to their lack of special fittings. In probable reference to the mediocre material of which the pouches were composed, it was recounted that lined jewelry pouches constructed of quality materials had been found suitable for use during travel and had been classified in heading 4202 (see HQ 950000, issued October 31, 1991), but that pouches of an insubstantial construction had been classified in heading 6307, HTSUS, when not specially fitted for certain goods (see HQ 953176, issued March 16, 1993). In light of the foregoing discussion, we find that the two drawstring pouches subject to this case are classified in subheading 6307.90.9989, HTSUSA.


The two sizes of drawstring pouches are classified in subheading 6307.90.9989, HTSUSA, the provision for "Other made up articles, including dress patterns: Other: Other: Other, Other: Other." The general column one duty rate is 7 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification
Appeals Division

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