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HQ 961092

March 24, 1998

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 961092 RH


TARIFF NO.: 3923.90.00

Ms. Shirley Almen
Retail Sales Manager
Neely Manufacturing Company
Highway 2 West
Corydon, Iowa 50060

RE: Zippered garment bag; heading 3923

Dear Ms. Almen:

This is in reply to your letters of May 29, June 25, and July 30, 1997, regarding the classification of zippered garment bags.

You submitted a sample bag to aid us in our determination.


The articles at issue are zippered garment bags used to transport and protect clothing from the store to the home. They are constructed of a Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) plastics sheeting ("3 mil vinyl") which has been embossed to simulate a nylon taffeta finish. They have a sewn in hanger grommet though which a standard hanger will be inserted and a clear plastic airline or identification window. All edges are reinforced with sewn PVC edging and the bags are closed with a full length coil zipper. They measure 40 inches long and appear to be suit-type bags.

You claim that the bags are not intended for reuse and that retailers use the bags because they cause "less wrinkles in cloths" and give an "upscale image of the store."

In your May 29, 1997 letter, you state that, until recently, Customs classified the bags as other plastic sacks and bags under subheading 3923.29.00 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). On the last entry, however, Customs classified the bags under subheading 4202.92.45, HTSUSA, as plastic travel and sports bags.


Are the vinyl garment bags in question classifiable under subheading 3923.29.00, HTSUSA, as other sacks and bags of plastic, or under subheading 4202.92.4500, HTSUSA, as travel and sports bags of plastic?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Merchandise that cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 is classified in accordance with the subsequent GRI's, taken in order.

Two subheadings are at issue in this case. Heading 3923, HTSUSA, encompasses, in part, plastic articles for the conveyance or packing of goods. Heading 4202, HTSUSA, provides for, among the things, suitcases, traveling bags, and similar containers.

Customs addressed the classification of three styles of vinyl garment bags similar to the bags at issue in Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 960411, dated October 7, 1997. Like the instant bags, the three bags in HQ 906411 had a zippered closure, an opening through which a hanger may be inserted, and they were comprised of vinyl less than 4 mils in thickness. In addition, they were designed to protect purchases during conveyance from the store to the home and were not designed for prolonged use. Customs classified all three bags under subheading 3923.90.00.

Moreover, in HQ 960411 we stated:

Previously, Customs has classified garment bags that are constructed of 4 mils or thicker vinyl under heading 4202, as luggage. Usually, bags comprised of vinyl more than 4 mils in thickness denotes an article that has a durable construction and is designed for prolonged use and travel. Generally, garment bags comprised of less than 4 mils in thickness indicates a flimsy bag which is not designed for repetitive use. These bags have been classified under Heading 3923, HTSUSA, the provision for articles used for the conveyance and packing of goods.

In this case, the bags in question are less than 4 mils in thickness and are designed primarily to transport garments from the store to the home. Accordingly, we find that the bags are properly classifiable in subheading 3923.90.00, HTSUSA.


The garment bags described above are classifiable in subheading 3923.90.00, HTSUSA. They are dutiable at the general one column rate of duty at 3 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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