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NY F89549

July 28, 2000



TARIFF NO.: 4202.92.3031; 6307.90.9989

Mr. Wayne Schmidt
DJS International Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 612785
DFW Airport, Texas 75261

RE: The tariff classification of tote bag and handbag with protective cover bag from Italy.

Dear Mr. Schmidt:

In your letter dated July 13th, 2000, on behalf of Harold's Stores Inc., you requested a classification ruling.

The sample submitted with your request is identified as style #5226, "Gennius 2000". The item is a tote bag that is sold with a handbag. The handbag is attached to the tote by means of a strip of fabric with a dog leash type clasp that is sewn into the side interior of the tote bag. The handbag may be carried inside the tote bag or used on its own. The handbag and tote bag will be presented packed for retail sale with a drawstring cover that is generally sized to contain a handbag or tote bag but not necessarily any specific handbag or tote bag. The cover is not specially shaped or fitted to contain the handbag or tote bag.

Pursuant to General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 3 (b), the items are considered a set: both provide storage, protection, organization, and portability to the contents placed therein. The tote bag is manufactured of an exterior surface of embroidered nylon mesh textile material with leather side panels and bottom panel. The nylon mesh textile material imparts the essential character of the bag. The handbag is constructed of an exterior surface of nylon textile material. The interiors of both the tote bag and handbag are unlined and consist of a single compartment with no additional features. The handbag is secured by a full-width zippered closure. The tote bag is secured by two pieces of leather sewn to the top interior with hook and loop closures.

The applicable subheading for the handbag and tote bag portion of Gennius 2000 Style 5226 will be 4202.92.3031, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for travel, sports, and similar bags, with outer surface of textile materials, other, other, of man-made fibers, other. The duty rate will be 18.6% ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the cover bag portion of Gennius 2000 Style 5226 will be 6307.90.9989, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other made up articlesother. The duty rate will be 7% ad valorem.

While mindful that the article examined by this office is a sample, we note with respect to the handbags exterior mark which reads “GENUINE LEATHER” that false descriptions of goods are forbidden by 15 U.S.C. 1125(a)(1)(B), which in pertinent part states:

(a)(1) Any person who, on or in connection with any goods... uses in commerce any word, term, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof, or any...false or misleading description of fact, or false or misleading representation of fact, which--

(B) in commercial advertising or promotion, misrepresents the nature, characteristics, qualities... of his or her or another person’s goods...shall be liable in a civil action by any person who believes that he or she is or is likely to be damaged by such act.

We also note that the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has published “Guides for Select Leather and Imitation Leather Products,” 16 CFR Part 24, in the Federal Register, Volume 61, Number 193, dated October 3, 1996. The “Guides” are applicable to the manufacture, sale, distribution, marketing, or advertising of all kinds or types of leather or simulated-leather articles (including, but not limited to, wallets, billfolds, key cases, handbags, shoulder bags, purses, pocketbooks, etc.), and represent interpretations of laws administered by the FTC for the guidance of the public in conducting its affairs legally. Regarding deception as to an article’s composition, 16 CFR Part 24.2 states, in pertinent part:

It is unfair or deceptive to misrepresent...the composition of any industry product or part thereof. It is unfair or deceptive to use the unqualified term “leather” or other unqualified terms suggestive of leather to describe industry products unless the industry product so described is composed in all substantial parts of leather....

(e) A misrepresentation should not be made...that an industry product is made wholly of a particular composition. A representation as to the composition of a particular part of a product should clearly indicate the part to which the representation applies....

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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