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HQ 962466

April 25, 2000

CLA.-2 RR:CR:TE 962466 SG


TARIFF NO: 6307 90.9989

Peter J Fitch, Esq
Fitch, King and Caffentziz
116 John Street
New York, NY 10038

RE: Textile Jewelry Pouches; Revocation of NY C89894

Dear Mr. Fitch:

This letter is in response to your request of December 14, 1998, on behalf of your client, Jewelpak Corporation, for reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NY) C89894, dated November 13, 1998, wherein certain textile pouches were classified under heading 4202, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Samples were submitted with the request.

Pursuant to section 625(c), Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)), notice of the proposed revocation of NY C89894 was published on March 15, 2000, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 34, Number 11. One comment was received supporting the revocation.


The merchandise that was the subject of NY C89894, consists of three pouches which are identical except for their size. The pouches measure 2 inches in width and 2 inches in length, 2 3/4 inches in width and 3 1/4 inches in length, and 4 inches in width and 5 1/4 inches in length, respectively. The pouches are closed on three sides; the remaining side is open and has a drawstring closure. The pouches are constructed of woven textile material, which is coated on the exterior with flocking of 100 percent acrylic fibers. “Flock” is a textile material defined in heading 5601, HTS, as “textile fibers, not exceeding 5 millimeters in length.” The woven fabric is 60 percent, by weight, of cotton fibers, and 40 percent of polyester fibers. The pouches are not lined and have no internal or external pockets or special fittings. They are capable of
holding a variety of small items. The pouches’ opening at the top is drawn closed when the ends of a thin, braided string are pulled in opposite directions. The intended use for these pouches is to hold jewelry.

In NY C89894 Customs ruled that the pouches were classified in subheading 4202.32.9550, HTSUSA, as an article of a kind normally carried in the pocket or handbag, of textile materials, with outer surface of textile materials, of man-made fibers.


What is the proper classification for the subject merchandise?


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.

Pouches of textile materials similar to the subject merchandise have been classified in both headings 4202 and 6307, HTSUS, depending upon their construction and the purpose(s) for which they are designed. Pouches classified outside of heading 4202, HTSUS, are generally those considered not specially designed to contain particular item(s), or not adequately constructed to sustain repeated use.

Heading 4202, HTSUS, provides for “Trunks, suitcases, vanity cases... spectacle cases, binocular cases, camera cases, musical instrument cases, gun cases, holsters and similar containers; traveling bags.. .wallets, purses, map cases, cigarette cases, tobacco pouches.. .bottle cases, jewelry boxes... and similar containers, of leather or of composition leather, of sheeting of plastics, of textile materials, of vulcanized fiber, or of paperboard, or wholly or mainly covered with such materials or with paper.

The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (EN) to heading 4202 suggest that the expression “similar containers” in the first part of the heading “includes hat boxes, camera accessory cases, cartridge pouches, sheaths for hunting or camping knives, portable tool boxes or cases, specially shaped or internally fitted to contain particular tools with or without their accessories, etc.” With regard to the second part of heading 4202, the EN indicate that the expression “similar containers”
includes “note-cases, writing-cases, pen-cases, ticket-cases, needle-cases, key-cases, cigar-cases, pipe-cases, tool and jewelry rolls, shoe-cases, brush-cases, etc.”

In Totes. Incorporated v. United States. 18 Ct. Int’l. Trade 919, 865 F. Supp. 867 (1994), aff'd, 69 F.3d 495 (Fed. Cir. 1995), the Court of International Trade held that the essential characteristics and purposes of the heading 4202 exemplars are to organize, store, protect and carry various items. With respect to the broad reach of the residual provision for “similar containers” in heading 4202 by virtue of the rule of ejusdem generis, the Court found that the rule requires only that the imported merchandise possess the essential character or purpose running through all of the enumerated exemplars.

Upon examination of the subject textile pouches, it is apparent that they were constructed of material insufficiently durable for continued use. Despite the samples’ outer surface flocking, the constituent fabric is fairly flimsy and the pouches have no lining or padding for added protection of the contents. The braided string by which the pouches would be carried is also quite thin. The subject pouches provide little in the way of cushioning, protection or portability. The sample pouches also lack any internal or external pockets or special shapes or fittings by which their contents would be organized. Aside from their being suitable for the storage of contents, these pouches lack the essential characteristics running through the heading 4202 exemplars enumerated above.

Heading 6307, HTSUS, covers other made up textile articles. The EN to heading 6307 indicate that the heading covers made up articles of any textile material which are not included more specifically in other headings of Section XI or elsewhere in the Nomenclature. The EN indicate that the heading includes, among other things, domestic laundry or shoe bags and similar articles. The EN suggest that the heading excludes, among other goods, travel goods (suit-cases, rucksacks, etc.), shopping-bags, toilet-cases, etc., and all similar containers of heading 4202.

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 959563, issued October 5, 1998, this office classified a textile drawstring pouch (for toiletries) in subheading 4202.92.3030 (now 4202.92.3031), HTSUSA. Although similar to the subject pouches in dimensions and in its lack of pockets or fittings, that pouch was constructed with three layers of material, i.e., an exterior layer of a ribbed polyester fabric, a middle layer batting of man-made textile material, and an inner lining composed of vinyl. We found that the item was of a strong and durable construction, and that its purpose was to securely carry toiletries and protect them against breakage. (See also HQ 956719, issued July 21, 1994.)

In HQ 960757, issued August 26, 1997, two drawstring pouches similar in features and construction to the subject articles were classified. The pouches were composed of a cotton/nylon woven fabric blend, and they possessed neither lining nor any additional pockets or fittings. The larger of the two pouches measured approximately five inches by seven inches. After finding that the constituent fabric was fairly flimsy and that the pouches would provide their contents little in the way of protection or portability, we classified the articles in subheading 6307.90.9989, HTSUSA.

In light of the sample pouches’ weak construction and the lack of features which would provide protection or portability to their contents, we find that the pouches at issue here are classified in subheading 6307.90.9989, HTSUSA. (See also HQ 960206, issued March 17, 1999; HQ 957473, issued March 6, 1995; HQ 956234, issued November 14, 1994; HQ 956425, issued July 28, 1994; HQ 955012, issued October 28, 1993; HQ 089851, issued July 29, 1991; and 086852, issued May 10, 1990.)


The subject textile pouches are classified in subheading 6307.90.9989, HTSUSA, the provision for “Other made up articles, including dress patterns: Other: Other: Other: Other.” The general column one duty rate is 7 percent ad valorem.

NY C89894 dated November 13, 1998, is hereby revoked. In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625(c), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected. Since part categories are the result of international bilateral agreements which are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes, to obtain the most current information available, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report On Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an internal issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is available for inspection at your local Customs office.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories applicable to textile merchandise, you should contact your local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.

John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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