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HQ 960887

March 10, 1998

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 960887 RH


TARIFF NO.: 4202.92.9060

Mr. Michael S. Dubin
Hellman Transport Services
6015 Benjamin Road, Suite 326
Tampa, Fl 33624

RE: Classification of watchband display folder; not for retail sale; heading 4202

Dear Mr. Dubin:

This is in reply to your letter of August 14, 1997, on behalf of Norman M. Morris/Roma Industries, concerning the classification of a display folder for watchbands. You submitted a sample of the folder for us to examine.


The merchandise under consideration is a black or grey folder with hook and loop fasteners similar to the VELCRO brand. It is manufactured of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic sheeting over a stiff base material. The interior of the folder contains four tiers of felt lined trays, each of which holds thirty leather watch bands. The primary purpose of the folder is to enable Roma Industries and its customers to display unfinished watchbands at various stages of completion to prospective customers. The watchband folder is not for resale.


What is the classification of the watch band display folder?


Classification of goods under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, taken in their appropriate order. Heading 4202 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, cutlery 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.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN), while not legally binding, are recognized as the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. The EN for heading 4202 define "jewellery boxes" to include "not only boxes specifically designed for keeping jewellery, but also similar lidded containers of various dimensions (with or without hinges or fasteners) specially shaped or fitted to contain one or more pieces of jewellery and normally lined with textile material, of the type in which articles of jewellery are presented and sold and which are suitable for long-term use."

The watchband folder is not sold at retail. Nevertheless, it is a container with fasteners and is specifically shaped or fitted to hold watchbands. Moreover, it is lined with felt and constructed in a manner which is suitable for long-term use. We conclude that it is similar to a jewelry box under heading 4202.

The next issue concerns the subheading under which to classify the watchband folder. The EN to heading 4202 further state that articles covered by the second part of the heading must, however, be only of the materials specified therein or must be wholly or mainly covered with such material or with paper (the foundation may be of wood, metal, etc.). At the six-digit level, the nomenclature classifies the majority of goods in Chapter 42 by the material which comprises the "outer surface." HQ 954021, dated November 1, 1993, citing HQ 087760, dated October 31, 1991, and HQ 087640, dated November 8, 1990. The outer surface of the watchband folder is covered with PVC and the article is, therefore, classifiable under subheading 4202.92.9060, HTSUSA.


The watchband folder in question is classifiable in subheading 4202.92.9060, HTSUSA, which provides for, among other things, jewelry boxes and similar containers with an outer surface of sheeting of plastic. It is dutiable at the general rate of duty at 19 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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