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NY C83146

January 30, 1998

CLA-2-46:RR:NC:SP:230 C83146


TARIFF NO.: 4602.10.1800

Mr. James E. Unger
CBC Customhouse Brokers, Inc.
P.O. Box 646
Wood Dale, IL 60191

RE: The tariff classification of a picnic basket set from China.

Dear Mr. Unger:

In your undated letter received here on January 7, 1998, you requested a tariff classification ruling. The ruling was requested on behalf of your client, Hanig & Company, a division of Aspen Marketing Inc., of Mt. Prospect, Illinois.

A sample identified as a "fern-and-bamboo picnic basket with plastic tableware" was submitted and will be retained for reference. The picnic basket, an 18" x 12" x 8" hinged container resembling a suitcase, is made of interwoven pieces of split bamboo and fern midrib. (Your client indicates a composition of 80% fern and 20% bamboo. We find that the fern does in fact predominate somewhat over the bamboo, at least with respect to appearance.) The article features a strap-and-buckle closure and dual, suitcase-type carrying handles.

The interior of the basket has a lightly padded blue/white checker cloth lining as well as permanently mounted leather (or imitation leather) straps which secure four plastic mugs and four plastic plates. Four each of plastic knives, forks and spoons are also included. Despite the presence of the tableware, ample additional space is available for food and other items normally transported to a picnic.

With reference to General Rule of Interpretation 3(b) of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), we find that the above-described items constitute "goods put up in sets for retail sale," and that their essential character is imparted by the basket.

Since, as suggested above, the essential character of the basket itself is imparted by the fern, the only remaining issue is whether the latter can be regarded as a form of "wickerwork." Customs has taken the position that an article of wickerwork must consist of twigs or other materials which can be found in nature in a rod-like state (e.g., vines), and which continue to have a rod-like shape after being made into said article. Although fern midribs might be said to have a rod-like appearance, they do not exist naturally in that condition but are part of the whole leaf. Thus, articles such as the instant basket, made essentially of fern midrib, cannot be considered wickerwork.

The applicable subheading for the fern-and-bamboo picnic basket with plastic tableware will be 4602.10.1800, HTS, which provides for other (than certain enumerated) baskets and bags of vegetable plaiting materials, whether or not lined: other than wickerwork. The rate of duty will be 4.5%.

We note that the sample is not marked with its country of origin. When imported into the United States, the merchandise will be required to be so marked (e.g., "Made in China"), legibly, in a conspicuous place, and in a manner sufficiently permanent to reach ultimate purchasers.

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 Paul Garretto at 212-466-5779.


Robert B. Swierupski

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