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HQ 960245

September 12, 1997

CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 960245


TARIFF NO.: 4202.92.9025

Mr. Samuel Zekser
Sobel Shipping Co., Inc.
170 Broadway, Suite 1501
New York, NY 10038

RE: Modification of NY 887383; Tool Roll-Up Organizer; heading 4202; heading 6307;
Totes v. United States, 69 F. 3d 495; tool boxes; tool cases; tool rolls

Dear Mr. Zekser:

On June 22, 1993, Customs issued New York Ruling Letter (NY) 887383 to your company, on behalf of B & K Industries Inc., regarding the tariff classification of a "Tool Roll-Up Organizer." We enclose a copy of that ruling for your convenience.

We have reviewed NY 887383 and determined that the classification of the tool roll-up organizer was incorrect. Our reasons are set forth below.

Pursuant to section 625(c)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(1)), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057), notice of the proposed modification of NY 887383 was published on July 30, 1997, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 31, No. 31.


In NY 887383, Customs classified a tool roll-up organizer under subheading 6307.90.9986 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), as an "other made-up article."

The tool roll-up organizer was described in NY 887383 as follows:

The sample submitted is a tool roll-up organizer made of 600 denier polyester woven fabric that is coated on one side with PVC. In unfolded condition, it measures approximately 25 3/16 inches long by 21 inches wide. It features thirty opened pockets. Inserted at the top of the article are two metal rings. Attached to the lower right side are two web straps with strips similar to the VELCRO brand loop fastener and a D-ring.


Whether the tool roll-up organizer is classifiable under heading 4202, HTSUSA, as tool bags or similar containers, or under heading 6307, HTSUSA, as other made-up textile articles?


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

Heading 4202, HTSUSA, provides for:

Trunks, suitcases, vanity cases, attache cases, briefcases, school satchels, spectacle cases, binocular cases, camera cases, musical instrument cases, gun cases, holsters and similar containers; traveling 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 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. (Emphasis added).

The Explanatory Notes (EN) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System constitute the official interpretation of the nomenclature at the international level. While not legally binding, they do represent the considered views of classification experts of the Harmonized System Committee. It has, therefore, been the practice of the Customs Service to follow, whenever possible, the terms of the EN when interpreting the HTSUSA.

On July 1, 1992, the Harmonized System Committee issued a revision to the EN for heading 4202. This revision provides at page 661 that heading 4202 does not cover:

(f) Tool boxes or cases [in the first part of the heading], not specially shaped or internally fitted to contain particular tools with or without their accessories (generally, heading 39.26 or 73.26). (Emphasis in original).

The EN also state that the expression "similar containers" in the second part of the heading (after the semicolon) includes, among other things, "tool and jewellery rolls." Unlike tool boxes and tool cases, there is no requirement in the EN that tool rolls be specially shaped or internally fitted to contain particular tools.

In the instant case, the tool roll up organizer is "ejusdem generis" or "of the same kind" of merchandise as tool bags listed in heading 4202, and/or tool rolls referred to in the EN.

In the case of Totes v. United States, 69 F. 3d 495 (1995), the court addressed the principle of ejusdem generis in determining whether a trunk organizer was a "similar container" under heading 4202. The court stated:

Under the rule of ejusdem generis, which means "of the same kind," where an enumeration of specific things is followed by a general word or phrase, the general word or phrase is held to refer to things of the same kind as those specified. As applicable to classification cases, ejusdem generis requires that the imported merchandise possess the essential characteristics or purposes that unite the articles enumerated eo nomine [by name] in order to be classified under the general terms.

The tool roll-up organizer is a container similar to tool bags and/or tool rolls in that it possesses the essential characteristics or purposes of those articles, i.e., to organize, store and protect tools. It is, therefore, classifiable under heading 4202, HTSUSA.


The tool roll-up organizer is classifiable under subheading 4202.92.9025, HTSUSA, which provides for, among other things, tool bags and similar containers with an outer surface of man made fibers. It is dutiable at the general column rate of 19.3 percent ad valorem and falls within textile category 670.

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, you should contact your local Customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current applicability of any import restraints or requirements.

In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625(c), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin. Publication of rulings or decisions pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(1) does not constitute a change of practice or position in accordance with section 177.10(c)(1), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.10 (c)(1)).


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification Appeals

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