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NY 891834

March 3, 1994

CLA-2-42:S:N:N6:341 891834


TARIFF NO.: 4202.22.1500

Ms. Patti Kniest, Customs Specialist
Edison Brothers Stores, Inc.
501 North Broadway
P.O. Box 66995
St. Louis Mo. 63166-6649

RE: The tariff classification of ladies handbags of woven imitation leather strips, products of China.

Dear Ms. Kniest:

You have requested a tariff classification ruling regarding two shoulder bags, styles 9031 and 9031A, which are products of China.

Style 9031 is wholly covered with front and back panels of woven strips of imitation leather. The imitation leather strips have been woven into a mat like construction which is backed with a glued textile material. The bag has a separate textile lining.

Style 9031A is almost wholly covered with front and back panels of woven imitation leather strips. The woven mat like material is not backed with a textile material however there is a separate plastic sheeting which is directly behind the woven strips and is partially exposed. The bag has an inner textile lining.

The imitation leather strips are composed of a bottom layer of woven textile material ( assumed to be of man-made fibers), a middle layer of cellular plastic and a top layer of compact plastic. The overall thickness of this material is approximately 1.5mm of which the center cellular layer is about 1mm and the textile portion and top compact plastic are about .25mm each. The compact plastic of the top layer has been colored, printed and embossed to simulate top grain leather. The coated material is slit into widths or strips which have an average width of 5mm. Because the top layer of compact plastic is relatively thick, has been embossed and printed to simulate leather, and gives the material its eye appeal and visual impact, we consider this top plastic layer to impart the essential character to the material. Consequently, we would consider this material classifiable as a plastic coated or covered textile fabric under Heading 5903, Harmonized System of the United States, Annotated (HTSUSA).

Styles 9031 and 9031A are considered to have an essential character of the woven imitation leather panels.

Heading 4202, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, handbags with an outer surface of sheeting of plastics or of textiles. The General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs) to the HTSUSA govern the classification of goods in the tariff schedule. GRI 1 states, in pertinent part, that such "classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings any relative section or chapter notes..."

Additional United States Note 2, Chapter 42, HTSUSA, states in part that when classifying articles of textile fabric impregnated, covered, coated or laminated with plastics (whether compact or cellular) the article shall be regarded as having an outer surface of plastic sheeting depending upon whether and the extent to which the plastic sheeting forms the exterior surface of the article.

The instant bags therefore are of textile materials and the plastics constituent makes up the exterior surface of the article. Styles 9031 and 9031A are classified within tariff number 4202.22.1500, HTSUSA, which provides for handbags with outer surface of sheeting of plastics. The rate of duty is 20 percent ad valorem.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Jean F. Maguire
Area Director

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