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NY F83314

March 2, 2000

CLA-2-42:RR:NC:3:341 F83314


TARIFF NO.: 4202.92.3031

Mr. Arlen T. Epstein
Tompkins & Davidson, LLP
One Astor Plaza
1515 Broadway
New York, N.Y. 10036-8901

RE: The Tariff Classification of a Tote Bag with Shoulder Bag, PP 202515; GRI 3(b); Sets; HTS 4202.22.8050; 4202.92.3031; from China

Dear Mr. Epstein:

In your letters dated February 17, 2000 and February 2, 2000 you requested a classification ruling. The request is on behalf of Avon Products, Inc.

The sample submitted is identified as PP 202515. Avon Products intends to market the article as the "Avon Lite Weight Tote Bag with Removable Mini Bag". PP 202515 consists of a tote bag and a shoulder bag . Both bags are manufactured of nylon textile materials. It is assumed PP 202515 will be presented on entry packed ready for retail sale without additional repackaging or manipulation.

The tote bag has an overall measurement of approximately 18 1/2" in width and 11" in height. It has a main storage area that has a top opening that measures 18" in width. The top is secured by means of a full nylon coil zipper. The interior of the main section is unlined and has a suspended zippered security pouch sewn to the top interior zipper binding. The pouch measures 9"x6". The exterior sides of the tote bag each have a full size storage pocket that is secured by means of hook and loop closures. The bottom of the tote bag is rectangular and measures 7''x 11". Each side gusset of the main section is 7" wide. The tote bag has double self-material handle straps. The interior of the main area is fitted with a dog leash clasp sewn to each side so that the shoulder bag may be suspended on the interior and carried within the tote bag.

The shoulder bag is envelope in shape and measures approximately 11 1/2" x 8 1/2". It is unlined and has a nylon coil top zipper closure. The bag is carried by means of a self-material shoulder strap, which is affixed by means of two dog leash straps, and "D" rings. The shoulder bag is carried in the larger tote and is removed when the user desires to carry only the small personal effects commonly carried in a pocket or handbag. When carried in the larger tote, it is used to organize the same small personal effects.

You have stated that PP 202515 consists of two components which are prima facie classified in separate tariff provisions and that combined they form a "composite" as provided by General Rule of Interpretation 3(b). The claimed classification for the tote bag is within the provisions for "HANDBAGS" in subheading 4202.22, HTSUSA. However, you have not identified the proposed classification of the removable shoulder bag. GRI 3(b) requires that a good be prima facie classified in two or more equal provisions . Therefore it is necessary to determine the tariff classification of both components.

The tote bag is a travel bag designed to contain clothing or other personal effects during travel. It is designed and used to carry multiple personal effects in addition to what would normally be carried in a pocket or handbag. The tote bag is similar in capacity and utility as style HBLG-1 found to be a travel bag in Customs Decision HQ 961513, September 24, 1998. The tote bag is of a kind classified within tariff number 4202.92.3031, HTSUSA.

The shoulder bag is of a kind used to contain only the small personal effects normally carried in a pocket or handbag. Whether or not carried within the tote bag, it remains a handbag. It is classifiable in tariff number 4202.22.8050, HTSUSA.

The application of General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 3(b), composites, is discussed in Customs decision 957246, March 29, 1995. The issue therein was the classification of a handbag and a tote bag within the respective subheadings of heading 4202, HTSUSA. The decision turned on the fact that the items combined did not form a whole not normally sold in separate parts. The tote bag and shoulder bag components of PP202515 present the same result. PP 202515 does not form a composite as provided by General rule of Interpretation 3(b).

PP 202515 does form a set within the same GRI. Noting the goods will be presented for entry put up for retail sale without repackaging and they are prima facie classified in two different subheadings , they may be classified as a set if they comply with Explanatory Note, GRI 3(b) (X)(b). The Note provides that the goods must be put up to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity. The tote bag and the handbag both meet the need of providing storage, protection, organization and portability for personal effects and property. PP 202515 does satisfy the requirements of GRI 3(b), "Sets". The tote bag provides the essential character to the set and the whole shall be classified according to the classifcation thereof.

The applicable subheading for PP 202515, "Avon Lite weight Tote Bag with Removable Mini Bag" will be 4202.92.3031, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for travel, sport and similar bags, of textile materials, with outer surface of textile materials, of man-made fibers. The duty rate will be 18.6 percent ad valorem.

Goods classified within tariff number 4202.22.8050 and 4202.92.3031 fall within textile category designation 670. Based upon international textile trade agreements products of China are subject to quota and the requirement of a visa. Articles classified for duty purposes as a set require, on entry, individual quota and visa documentation appropriate for the individual components.

The designated textile and apparel categories and their quota and visa status are the result of international agreements that are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes. To obtain the most current information, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the U.S. Customs Service Textile Status Report, an internal issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is available at the Customs Web site at www.customs.gov. In addition, the designated textile and apparel categories may be subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected and should also be verified at the time of shipment.

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 Kevin Gorman at 212-637-7091.


Robert B. Swierupski

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