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NY F89925

July 28, 2000



TARIFF NO.: 4202.22.4500; 4202.22.1500

Ms. Saralee Antrim-Saizan
Carmichael International Service
533 Glendale Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90026

RE: The tariff classification of mini-backpacks from China.

Dear Ms. Antrim-Saizan:

In your letter dated July 19th, 2000, on behalf of Tandem Bags of California, you requested a classification ruling.

Samples of style L2287 and 3613 have been submitted. Each item is a mini-backpack of the type designed to contain only the small personal effects normally carried by a girl or woman on a daily basis.

Style L2287 was originally subject of NY F88160, July 11th, 2000, wherein it was described as being of rayon crochet yarns. You have indicated that the yarns are 58% by weight of cotton fibers and are in chief weight of cotton. The sample received is wholly made of gimped yarn in chief weight of cotton.

Style 3613 is composed of genuine leather and of imitation leather. The imitation leather is of a fabric-backed plastic sheeting which has been dyed and embossed to match the genuine leather. It is not possible to discern the genuine from the imitation leather on visual examination. The bag has a leather tag affixed, which is embossed to read "Genuine Leather" with man-made trim. The quantity of imitation leather and genuine leather, which make up the bag body appear to be approximately equal. The imitation leather and the genuine leather equally impart the character of the bag. There is no essential character. Therefore, classification will be according to General Rule of Interpretation 3 (c), which specifies that the provision which appears last among equally provided provisions will apply.

Style L2287, when wholly of a man-made fiber yarn is correctly classified in HTS 4202.22.8050. However, when manufactured of a yarn in chief weight of cotton it is classified according to the chief weight of the component textile materials.

Style L2287 is said to be of a yarn having a chief weight of 58% cotton fibers. It is classified in tariff number 4202.22.4500.

The applicable subheading for L2287 will be 4202.22.4500, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for handbags, whether or not with shoulder strapwith outer surface of textile materialsof cotton. The duty rate will be 6.7% ad valorem.

Items classifiable under HTS subheading 4202.22.4500 fall within textile category designation 369. Based upon international textile trade agreements products of China are subject to quota and the requirement of a visa.

The applicable subheading for 3613 will be 4202.22.1500, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for handbags, whether or not with shoulder strapwith outer surface of sheeting of plastic. The duty rate will be 17.6% ad valorem.

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.

While mindful that the article examined by this office is a sample, we note with respect to the mark on the backpack 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 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....

In light of the above, we suggest that the subject article be marked along the following lines: “BAG BODY OF GENUINE LEATHER AND OF MAN-MADE MATERIALS".

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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