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HQ 960471

April 14, 1998

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 960471 GGD


TARIFF NO.: 4202.91.0030

Ms. Laura Boyce
The Donna Karan Company
600 Gotham Parkway
Carlstadt, New Jersey 07072

RE: Revocation of Port Ruling Letter (PD) B81802; Travel, Toiletry, or Cosmetic Bags; Not Flatgoods

Dear Ms. Boyce:

In Port Ruling Letter (PD) B81802, issued February 28, 1997, Customs classified two styles of leather cosmetic purses in subheading 4202.31.6000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for "Articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or in the handbag: With outer surface of leather, of composition leather or of patent leather: Other." We have reviewed that ruling and have found it to be in error. Therefore, this ruling revokes PD B81802.

Pursuant to section 625(c)(1), 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, 2186 (1993), notice of the proposed revocation of PD B81802 was published on March 11, 1998, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 32, Number 10.


The 2 leather purses, identified by style numbers R2720502 and R2723107, differ only with respect to their outer surface composition - the former is made of nappa leather and the latter is composed of calf leather. The purses, which measure approximately 3 inches in width by 3-1/2 inches in height, feature a mirrored flap with a snap closure and a detachable

"snake" chain. The interiors of the purses have essentially no features such as slots, pockets, or other fittings. The original ruling request described the merchandise as a "small cosmetic on a snake chain" and indicated that the pouch portion was intended to contain cosmetics, money, etc.


Whether the leather cosmetic purses are classified in subheading 4202.31, HTSUS, which provides for articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or in the handbag; or in subheading 4202.91, HTSUS, the provision for travel, sports and similar bags.


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.

Among other goods, heading 4202, HTSUS, provides for traveling bags, toiletry bags, handbags, wallets, purses, cigarette cases, and similar containers. Cosmetic bags are otherwise known as toiletry bags. Since the merchandise is similar to a small purse or cosmetic bag, it is described under heading 4202.

Subheading 4202.31 (as well as subheadings 4202.32 and 4202.39), HTSUS, cover articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or in the handbag. The subheading EN to these three provisions states:

These subheadings cover articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or in the handbag and include spectacle cases, note-cases (bill-folds), wallets, purses, key-cases, cigarette-cases, cigar-cases, pipe-cases and tobacco-pouches.

On June 21, 1995, this office published a General Notice in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 29, Number 25, concerning goods identified as "Wallets on a String." The attributes of articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or in the handbag were discussed and, in pertinent part, the notice stated:

Such articles include wallets, which may be described as flat cases or containers fitted to hold credit/ identification cards, paper currency, coins and in some instances a checkbook holder. Articles meeting this description which also possess a detachable carrying strap have been classified as flatgoods.

In order to be classifiable as a flatgood, the article must fit comfortably in a handbag or pocket. For example, rectangular or square cases measuring approximately 7-1/2 inches by 4-1/2 inches, or 4-3/4 inches by 4-1/2 inches, in their closed position, have been classified as flatgoods.

Although the subject purses would comfortably fit into a handbag, they are not fitted to carry the items which flatgoods are designed to hold. The lack of interior features, as well as information in the original ruling request, suggest that the purses are intended to carry only a few cosmetic items allowing a young woman "on the go" to apply the products while using the attached mirror.

Among other goods, subheading 4202.91, HTSUS, provides for travel, sports and similar bags. In pertinent part, Additional U.S. Note 1 to Chapter 42, HTSUS, states:

For the purposes of heading 4202, the expression "travel, sports and similar bags" means goods, other than those falling in subheadings 4202.11 through 4202.39, of a kind designed for carrying clothing and other personal effects during travel....

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 951534, issued August 4, 1992, this office concluded that the subheading for travel, sports and similar bags specifically provides for cosmetic bags. We observed that Additional U.S. Note 1 to Chapter 42 describes all travel bags designed for carrying personal effects during travel. In HQ 956666, issued May 30, 1995, we affirmed HQ 951534 and concluded that, since the term "travel" refers both to overnight trips and shorter distances relating to an individual's day-to-day business, the provision for travel bags describes all articles answering to the description of a cosmetic or toiletry
bag. In light of the analysis above, we find that the two styles of leather purses are properly classified in subheading 4202.91.0030, HTSUSA.


The two leather cosmetic purses, identified by style nos. R2720502 and R2723107, are classified in subheading 4202.91.0030, HTSUSA, the provision for "Trunks...traveling bags, toiletry bags...: Other: With outer surface of leather, of composition leather or of patent leather, Travel, sports and similar bags." The general column one rate of duty is 5.4 percent ad valorem.

PD B81802, issued February 28, 1997, is hereby revoked. In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(1), 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
Commercial Rulings Division

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