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NY 803834

November 30, 1994

CLA-2-42:S:N:N5:353 803834


TARIFF NO.: 4202.92.3030; 6601.91.0000

Mr. John M. Peterson
Neville, Peterson & Williams
80 Broad Street
New York, New York 10004

RE: The tariff classification of a tote bag and umbrella from China

Dear Mr. Peterson:

In your letter dated November 1, 1994 you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client, Totes, Incorporated. Samples of the merchandise at issue in condition as imported were submitted.

One sample at issue consists of a self-folding, collapsible, telescopic shaft umbrella which, in its folded condition, measures 12 1/2 inches in length including the handle. The umbrella wraps around itself and is secured by means of a strap with a hook and loop closure. The umbrella is stated to be made of 100 percent water repellant nylon. The other sample is a tote bag which measures 16 inches in height, 15 1/2 inches in width, and approximately 2 inches in depth. It is stated to be made of woven vinyl material which is said to be of the same material and color as the umbrella fabric. The tote bag features webbed nylon handles which are sewn into the sides and along the bottom of the bag. The bag features a compartment, affixed to the outer surface, in which the umbrella can be carried while the tote bag is in use. This compartment measures 10 inches in height, the same height as the umbrella without its handle, and six inches in width. It is stated that this compartment is specifically designed to hold the umbrella while allowing for easy access to the handle.

It is stated that the umbrella and tote bag will be imported together, with the umbrella inserted into the tote bag compartment at the time of importation and that the two items are designed to be sold together at retail. A sample of the retail package artwork for the imported articles denote the phrase "Umbrella and Shopping Bag".

It is your contention that the tote bag or tote case is specially shaped to hold the umbrella and that such goods, entered with and fitted to, should be classified in Chapter 66 with the umbrella.

Headquarters rulings 951631 and 951532 concerned an unsubstantial tote bag and when the umbrella was properly enclosed in the tote bag it looked exactly the same as any other telescopic umbrella in a conventional fitted case that did not have the tote feature. This is not the true of the items at issue. It was also ruled that because tote bag was unsubstantial, the tote bag properties were merely incidental to those of the umbrella and that it was highly unlikely that the merchandise would be purchased for its tote bag properties. This is not true for the items at issue. It is noted that the retail package artwork for the imported items clearly indicate a separate and substantial existence and use for each of the items at issue.

GRI 5 (a) refers to Camera cases........., specially shaped or fitted to contain a specific article or set of articles, suitable for long-term use and entered with the articles for which they were intended and such cases are to be classified with such articles when of a kind normally sold therewith. Umbrellas like the one at issue are not normally sold with tote bags nor is the tote bag or tote case at issue specially shaped or fitted to contain the umbrella.

The tote bag at issue is a tote bag of a kind similar to the travel bag of HTS 4202. It is not convertible to simulate the usual umbrella case or cover as were those in the above cited Headquarters rulings. The tote bag is not of a kind usually sold at retail with the contents (umbrella). The tote bag is not a convertible umbrella cover. Moreover, the exterior compartment is in fact a utility pocket not specifically shaped for the umbrella. It is capable and will be used to contain various items.

The tote bag and the umbrella are not considered a "set" within the meaning of GRI 3(b). (Headquarters ruling 086281 noted). GRI 3(b) states in pertinent part:

(b) Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified a if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

The Explanatory Notes for GRI 3 HTSUSA sets forth a three part test for "goods put up in sets for retail sale" as follows:

(a) consist of at least two different articles which are prima facie, classifiable in different headings;

(b) consist of products or articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity; and

(c) are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking (e.g., in boxes or cases or in boards).

An article must meet all of the above conditions in order to be regarded as a "set" for tariff purposes. The tote bag is classifiable within one heading in the nomenclature while the umbrella falls within another provision of the nomenclature. As you state that both items at issue will be sold together at retail without repacking, it is clear that parts (a) and (c) of the above definition are fulfilled by the tote bag and the umbrella.

However, the fact that both items at issue are packaged together for retail does not mean that they are considered a "set" for tariff purposes. Both items must be dedicated to a "particular need" or "specific activity." The tote bag and the umbrella are not used together in such a way as to meet a particular need or carry our a specific activity. They serve very different purposes and do not meet the definition of a "set". Thus, the tote bag and the umbrella do not constitute a "set", according tho the above definition.

The applicable subheading for the tote bag will be 4202.92.3030, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for travel, sports and similar bags: with outer surface of textile materials: other... other: of man-made fibers: other. The rate of duty will be 20 percent ad valorem. The textile category designation is 670. As a product of China, the tote bag may be subject to visa requirements or quota restraints based upon international textile trade agreements.

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 the 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.

The applicable subheading for the umbrella will be 6601.91.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for Umbrellas and sun umbrellas (including walking-stick umbrellas, garden umbrellas and similar umbrellas): other: having a telescopic shaft. The rate of duty will be 8.2 percent ad valorem.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Jean F. Maguire
Area Director

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