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NY B82882

March 25, 1997

CLA-2-43:RR:NC:3:353 B82882


TARIFF NO.: 4303.90.0000

Ms. Ludene Murphree
GAP Inc.
345 Spear St.
San Francisco, CA 94105

RE: The tariff classification of handbags from China.

Dear Ms. Murphree:

In your letter dated February 17, 1997 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Two sample handbags were submitted with your request. Style 168983 measures approximately 9 inches high, 3 inches deep and 12 1/2 inches wide. It is designed with the front of the handbag made from calf skin fur and the bottom and back of 100% nylon woven fabric. The double handles and top are leather. The bag has a zipper closure on the top and has a zip pocket inside the bag at the back. Style 168784 measures approximately 10 1/2 inches high, 4 3/4 inches deep and 12 1/2 inches wide and is of the same fur, fabric and design as style 168983.

Articles of a kind similar to a purse, pocketbook, shoulder bag or clutch bag are usually classified within Heading 4202, HTSUSA,. However such articles appear in the second half of the Heading which is limited to the materials named material.

Item 168984 is a shoulder bag. The bag body is fabricated of a front panel of calf with fur on the skin, a rear panel of man-made textiles materials and side gussets and a bottom of leather. Although it could be said that the fur skin is the material which imparts the primary visual impact which sets the bag apart from others, the man-made textile material rear panel or the leather gussets may each be said to impart the essential character. It appears there is no one material which imparts the essential character. It appears the bag is subject to GRI 3(c). If the bag were considered to be of textile materials or of leather it would be classified within Heading 4202. If it were of fur on the skin, Heading 4303. Since HTS 4303 appears last in the tariff, the bag is classified within HTS 4303.

Item 168983 is a pocketbook having a front panel of fur on the skin and a back panel of textile man-made textile material. It is the fur on the skin which imparts the visual impact or the essential character of the bag. If the bag is essential character of the fur on the skin, it cannot be classified within Heading 4202.

The applicable subheading for the handbags, Styles 16894 and 16983 will be 4303.90.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for Articles of apparel, clothing accessories and other articles of furskin: Other. The rate of duty will be 1.4 % ad valorem.

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

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Martin Weiss at 212-466-5881.


Paul Schwartz
Chief, Textiles & Apparel Br.

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