United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1998 HQ Rulings > HQ 961992 - HQ 962381 > HQ 962159

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 962159

October 21, 1998

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 962159 SS


TARIFF NO.: 4202.92.9060

Mr. Stephen Wong
Oceanland Service Inc.
623 So. Hindry Avenue
Inglewood, CA 90301

RE: Insulated bottle case; SGI, Incorporated v. United States, 122 F.3d 1468 (Fed. Cir. 1997); 4202.92.9060, HTSUSA; 3924.10.5000 HTSUSA

Dear Mr. Wang:

This letter is in response to your request on behalf of your client, KAB Trade Company, dated July 10, 1998, concerning the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) of insulated bottle cases manufactured in China. A sample was submitted with your request.


The sample submitted is described as a "Milk/Water Bottle Holder" and is an insulated bottle case designed to contain one bottle. A label attached to the bottle case describes the article as a baby bottle holder. It is cylindrical in shape, has a zipper closure at the top and a self material carrying strap. The bottle case has an exterior of unsupported polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic sheeting and an interior of semi-rigid, 1/4 inch thick styrofoam. The bottle case is designed to provide for the maintenance of temperature while providing storage, protection, organization and portability to the bottle contained within the case.


Whether the insulated bottle cases designed to carry one bottle are classified under Heading 4202, HTSUS, as bottle cases and similar containers; or are classified under Heading 3924, HTSUS, as tableware, kitchenware, other household articles of plastic under the decision in SGI, Incorporated v. United States?


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 a similar article, a portable, soft-sided, insulated cooler bag, was recently 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. Without discussion of the exemplars of Heading 4202, HTSUS, which 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 subheading 3924.10.50, HTSUS, "does encompass exemplars that are ejusdem generis with the coolers because their purpose is to contain food and beverages." Following the position of the Court, containers which are designed primarily for the storage of food or beverages at a desired temperature over a period of time are excluded from classificiation within Heading 4202, HTSUS, as an article not of a kind similar to the exemplars.

The subject bottle cases, however, are not precluded from classification in Heading 4202, HTSUS. In implementing the CAFC's decision in SGI , instructions were issued to Customs field offices on March 18, 1998 (and approved for dissemination to members of the importing community). The instructions expressly provide that bottle cases, insulated bottle bags and similar containers designed to contain only one bottle or similar single unit of beverage, are unaffected by SGI and remain classified under Heading 4202, HTSUS. Although SGI directs that containers designed primarily for the storage of food and beverages at a desired temperature over a period of time are to be classified under Heading 3924, HTSUS, the subject bottle cases are distinguishable in that they are designed for storage of a single bottle rather than multiple beverages. Accordingly, the bottle cases at issue are not affected by he decision in SGI. Furthermore, a bottle case is an eo nomine exemplar under Heading 4202, HTSUS. Additionally, in reviewing previous Customs rulings, it appears that the bottle case exemplar under Heading 4202, HTSUS, has only been applied to articles which hold single bottles. See Headquarters Ruling 960367, dated August 6, 1997 and New York Ruling PD C81898, dated December 9, 1997. In light of the instructions noted above, general principles of classification and prior rulings, the subject insulated bottle cases designed to contain one bottle are classified in subheading 4202.92.9060, HTSUS.


The insulated bottle cases designed to contain one bottle are classified in subheading 4202.92.9060, HTSUSA, the provision 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 paperboard, or wholly or mainly covered with such materials or with paper: Other: With outer surface of sheeting of plastic or of textile materials: Other: Other:." The general column one duty rate is 19 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: