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HQ 961681

September 28, 1998

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 961681 GGD


TARIFF NO.: 4202.92.9060

James L. Sawyer, Esquire
Katten Muchin & Zavis
525 West Monroe Street, Suite 1600
Chicago, Illinois 60661-3693

RE: Insulated Bottle Holder for Single Bottled Beverage; Heading 4202, HTSUS; SGI, Incorporated v. United States, 122 F.3d 1468 (Fed. Cir. 1997)

Dear Mr. Sawyer:

This letter is in response to your request of March 16, 1998, on behalf of your client, Gerber Products Company, concerning the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) of an article designed to carry a single bottle of baby formula. The article is manufactured in China. A sample was submitted with your request.


The sample article, identified by item number 78200 and described as an insulated bottle holder, measures approximately 6 inches in height and 8-1/2 inches in circumference. It is designed to contain and transport a single reusable bottle of baby formula and maintain its temperature for a short period of time. The outer layer of the bag is composed of a man-made textile fabric that has been coated, covered or laminated with a non-cellular (compact) plastic identified as polyvinyl chloride (PVC). The plastic surface of this outer layer faces outward. The article's interior lining is composed of polyester fiber
batting. A zippered opening, into which a bottle may be inserted, extends the full height of the bag. There also are two polypropylene straps, each with a hook and loop fabric fastener, allowing the bottle holder to be attached to a stroller, car seat, etc.


Whether the bottle bag designed to carry a single baby bottle is classified under heading 3924, HTSUS, as a container with outer surface of plastics to which the principles of the decision in SGI, Incorporated v. United States (SGI) apply; under heading 6307, HTSUS, as an other made up (textile) article to which the principles of the decision in SGI apply, or under heading 4202, HTSUS, as a container used to organize, store, protect and carry various items.


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.

The classification of certain portable, soft-sided, insulated cooler bags with outer surface of plastics, was examined by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) in SGI, Incorporated v. United States, 122 F.3d 1468 (Fed. Cir. 1997). The CAFC focused on whether food or beverages were involved with the eo nomine exemplars set forth in the tariff provisions at issue and, without discussion of heading 4202 exemplars that organize, store, protect, and/or carry food or beverages, the CAFC held that the appropriate classification for the cooler bags was subheading 3924.10.50, HTSUS, the provision for "Tableware, kitchenware, other household articles...of plastics: Tableware and kitchenware: Other." The Court stated that this classification "does encompass exemplars that are
ejusdem generis with the coolers because their purpose is to contain food and beverages." The exemplars (specifically enumerated in subheading 3924.10.10) which the Court noted in particular were the "various household containers for foodstuffs such as salt, pepper, mustard, and ketchup dispensers and serving pieces for food."

This office concluded that the CAFC's decision in SGI should be implemented. Instructions were issued to Customs field personnel on March 18, 1998, and September 10, 1998 (and approved for dissemination to members of the importing community), by which the principles of the CAFC's decision were expressly extended to portable, hard or soft-sided, insulated coolers and similar insulated containers (whose primary purpose is to store and preserve food and/or beverages), with outer surface of plastics, with outer surface of textile materials (classified in subheading 6307.90.9905, 6307.90.9907, or 6307.90.9909, HTSUSA, depending upon whether the outer surface is composed of cotton, man-made fibers, or other textile materials, respectively), and with an exterior layer composed of a textile fabric that is coated, covered or laminated with compact plastics, with the plastic surface facing outward (classified in subheading 6307.90.9989, HTSUSA).

The instructions issued in March 1998 also stated, however, that the classification of bottle cases, insulated bottle bags, and similar containers (if designed to contain only one bottle or similar single unit of a beverage, regardless of the unit's capacity) was unaffected by SGI. It was noted that a bottle case is an exemplar container of heading 4202 and (unlike the articles before the Court in SGI) is not designed to contain food or multiple beverages.

The subject insulated bottle holder is not similar to the soft-sided, insulated cooler bags at issue in SGI. The bottle holder is designed to transport a single bottled beverage and is thus similar to the exemplar bottle cases properly classified under heading 4202, HTSUS. In light of the principles of the SGI decision and the instructions noted above, the insulated bottle holder is classified in subheading 4202.92.9060, HTSUSA.


The insulated bottle holder identified by item no. 78200 is classified in subheading 4202.92.9060, HTSUSA, the provision for "Trunks...holsters... bottle cases...and similar containers...:

Other: With outer surface of sheeting of plastic or of textile materials: Other: Other, Other: Other." The general column one duty rate is 19 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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