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HQ 963783

September 25, 2001

CLA- 2 RR:CR:TE mbg


TARIFF NO: 4202.92.9026

Mr. Peter D. Alberdi
A.J. Arango, Inc.
1516 East 8th Avenue
Tampa, FL 33605

RE: Modification by Operation of Law of C89582; Classification of Jewelry Roll

Dear Mr. Alberdi:

On July 29, 1998, Customs issued Port Decision C89582 to your company on behalf of Bufkor, Inc., regarding the tariff classification of a jewelry roll with an outer surface of vinyl. The jewelry roll was originally classified under subheading 4202.92.3031 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (“HTSUSA”). Upon review, Customs has determined that the jewelry rolls were erroneously classified under 4202.92.3031, HTSUSA. The correct classification for the merchandise should be under subheading 4202.92.9026, HTSUSA based on the classification as a jewelry roll “with an outer surface of sheeting of plastic or of textile materials.”


The item here in issue, identified as “Item 5” in PD C89582, is described as a jewelry roll with an outer surface of man-made textile fibers. The item is designed to contain jewelry or other personal items. When folded, the item measures approximately 2 ½ inches in length by 4 ½ inches in width. At the lower right-hand side is the logo “Rick’s Fine Jewelry.” The sample is lined in man-made textile fibers. There is one zippered compartment, a strap to hold five set of earrings, and a strap to hold rings or to hang other personal items. When folded, a snap closure secures the jewelry roll.


What is the proper classification of the jewelry roll under the HTSUSA?


On May 17, 2000, pursuant to Section 625(c), Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)), notice of a proposed modification of PD C89581 was published in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 34, Number 20. No comments were received on this notice. PD C89581, dated July 28, 1998, also related in part, to the classification of a jewelry roll which in all material respects was identical to the jewelry roll which was the subject of C89582. Both rulings were addressed to you and both involved your client, Bufkor, Inc. In the May 17, 2000, Customs Bulletin notice it was stated that

Customs, pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(1), is modifying PD C89581, and any other ruling not specifically identified on identical or substantially similar merchandise to reflect the proper classification within the HTSUS pursuant to the analysis set forth in Headquarters Ruling (“HQ”) 962445. . . .

See 34 Cust. B. & Dec. 20.

Similar language appeared in various places in the final notice of modification of PD C89581 which was published in the Customs Bulletin of July 5, 2000 (34 Cust. B. & Dec. 27, 48).

It was also stated in both the proposed notice and the final notice that “[an] importer’s reliance on . . . a specific ruling concerning the merchandise covered by this notice which was not identified in this notice may raise the rebuttable presumption of lack of reasonable care on the part of the importer or its agents for importation subsequent to the effective date of this final notice.” 34 Cust. B. & Dec. 27, 49. The final notice was effective for merchandise entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption on or after September 5, 2000. Accordingly C89582 was revoked by operation of law by the foregoing final notice. While Customs is under no obligation to issue a new ruling as a result of the foregoing action, as a courtesy to you and the importing community the following analysis sets forth the proper classification for the jewelry roll.

Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (“GRIs”). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the heading 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.

Heading 4202, HTSUSA provides for “Trunks, Suit-Cases, Vanity-Cases, Executive-Cases, Briefcases, School Satchels, Spectacle Cases, Binocular Cases, Camera Cases, Musical Instrument Cases, Gun Cases, Holsters and Similar Containers; Travelling- Bags, Toilet Bags, Rucksacks, Handbags, Shopping-Bags, Wallets, Purses, Map-Cases, Cigarette-Cases, Tobacco- Pouches, Tool Bags, Sports Bags, Bottle-Cases, Jewellery Boxes, Powder-Boxes, Cutlery Cases and Similar Containers, of Leather or of Composition Leather, of Sheeting of Plastics, of Textile Materials, of Vulcanised Fibre or of Paperboard, or Wholly or Mainly Covered with Such Materials or With Paper.” (Emphasis added).

Thus, this heading encompasses the articles enumerated, as well as containers similar to these articles.

The Explanatory Notes (EN) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System constitute the official interpretation of the nomenclature at the international level. While not legally binding, they do represent the considered views of classification experts of the Harmonized System Committee. It has therefore been the practice of the Customs Service to follow, whenever possible, the terms of the EN when interpreting the HTSUSA.

The EN to heading 4202, HTSUSA, state, in pertinent part:

The articles covered by the second part of the heading must, however, be only of the materials specified therein or must be wholly or mainly covered with such materials or with paper (the foundation may be of wood, metal, etc.). The expression  “ similar containers  ” in this second part includes note-cases, writing-cases, pen-cases, ticket-cases, needle-cases, key-cases, cigar-cases, pipe-cases, tool and jewellery rolls, shoe-cases, brush-cases, etc. (Emphasis added.)

When this product was originally reviewed by Customs an error occurred during classification at the subheading level. Merchandise classified in subheading 4202.92.3031, HTSUSA, are generic bags of a class or kind designed to contain personal effects or property such as toiletries, articles of jewelry, or other accessories; however, such containers and bags are not specifically shaped. The articles here in issue are specially shaped or fitted containers designed to contain a specific article of jewelry or set of jewelry articles and therefore, the jewelry rolls are more specifically classified in subheading 4202.92.9026, HTSUSA.


This ruling modifies PD C89582 by operation of law and classifies the jewelry rolls under subheading 4202.92.9026, HTSUSA, which provides for “other containers, other, with outer surface of plastic sheeting or of textile materials, other, other, other, of man-made fibers.” As a product of El Salvador, articles classified therein would be subject to a general column one duty rate of 18.3% for the year 2001. This modification was effective by operation of law by virtue of the 19 U.S.C. 1625(c) final notice published in the Customs Bulletin of July 6, 2000 (34 Cust. B & Dec. 27, 48) for merchandise entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption on or after September 5, 2000. As a part of your “shared responsibility” under Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057) you should advise the various ports at which entries were filed on or after September 5, 2000, for the merchandise subject to this ruling and the final notice published in the July 5, 2000, Customs Bulletin in order to ensure the correct classification of the subject merchandise.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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