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HQ 962343

December 10, 1998

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 962343 MBG


TARIFF NO.: 4202.92.9060

Mr. James W. Lawless
C.H. Powell Company
1 Intercontinental Way
Peabody, MA 01960

RE: Reconsideration of PC 878021, Insulated Baby Bottle Holder for Single Bottled Beverage

Dear Mr. Lawless:

On October 6, 1992, Customs issued Pre-Classification Ruling PC 878021 to your client The First Years, of Avon Massachusetts, regarding the tariff classification of an insulated baby bottle carrier. The merchandise was classified within tariff number 4202.92.4500, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Based on your request for reconsideration, our New York Office has asked us to modify that ruling to reflect classification of the bottle carrier under subheading 4202.92.9060, HTSUSA.


The sample under reconsideration is identified as style 1013. It is an insulate baby bottle carrier designed to contain one bottle. The carrier is cylindrical in shape and has a top zipper closure ands carrying handle. The carrier is manufactured of three layers of unsupported polyvinyl chloride (PVC) sheeting and an inner layer of 1/16th inch thick polylurethane foam.


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


Classification under the HTSUSA 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 HTSUSA by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRI.

The merchandise under reconsideration is substantially similar to the merchandise previously considered by Customs in HQ 961047, dated September 25, 1998. Consistent with the holding in HQ 961047, it is Customs position that the subject insulated baby bottle carrier can be distinguished from the goods ruled on by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) in SGI, Incorporated v. United States, 122 F.3d 1468 (Fed. Cir. 1997).

In SGI, the CAFC examined the classification of certain portable, soft-sided, insulated cooler bags with outer surface of plastics. 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, HTSUSA, 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 19, 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 baby 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 baby bottle and is thus similar to the exemplar bottle cases properly classified under heading 4202, HTSUSA. In light of the principles of the SGI decision and the instructions noted above, the insulated baby bottle holder is classified in subheading 4202.92.9060, HTSUSA.


The insulated baby bottle holder identified by style no. 1013 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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