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HQ 964488

July 16, 2001

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 964488 mbg


TARIFF NO.: 4202.92.1500

Janet A. Forest, Esq.
Miller & Chevalir
655 15th St. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005

RE: Classification of child’s backpack with doll carrier; Revocation of NY F87328

Dear Ms. Forest:

On September 7, 2000, you requested reconsideration of New York ruling letter (“NY”) F87328, dated June 12, 2000, on the classification of merchandise described as a child’s “baby doll carrier” which was originally classified in subheading 4202.22.4500 as a handbag under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (“HTSUSA”). A sample was submitted with your request which will be retained by Customs. Upon review, Customs has determined that the subject merchandise is not a toy under heading 9503, HTSUSA, and was properly classified in NY F87328 under heading 4202, HTSUSA, although not in the appropriate subheading, as explained below.

Pursuant to section 625(c)(1), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625 (c)), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057), a notice was published on May 16, 2001, in Vol. 35, No. 20 of the Customs Bulletin, proposing to revoke NY F87328 and to revoke the treatment pertaining to the classification of a child’s backpack with doll carrier. No comments were received in response to this notice.


The subject merchandise is described as a “baby doll carrier,” and is called a “Bitty Baby Carrier” in the catalog which was subsequently submitted to Customs. The style number for the subject merchandise is identified inconsistently by Pleasant Company and this ruling applies to style(s) BBDC-01, BBBC and B0057. The merchandise, which is intended for children, is a backpack fitted with an “infant carrier” for a doll on the exterior. The “infant carrier” is sewn onto the outer pocket of the backpack and resembles a cloth “seat” in which the child is supposed to place a small doll. The backpack is manufactured with an exterior surface of 100 percent cotton printed fabric. The top of the bag is secured by means of a zippered closure. The bag measures approximately 12 inches by 9 ½ inches by 3 inches.


What is the proper classification of the subject merchandise under the HTSUSA?


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 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. The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (“ENs”) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. While neither legally binding nor dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings. See T.D. 89-80.

The competing provisions in this case are heading 4202, HTSUSA, which provides for, inter alia, handbags and backpacks, and heading 9503, HTSUSA, which provides for other toys.

Customs has ruled on similar items in the past. Those decisions have been consistent in determining that a crucial factor for classification purposes is the function of the article in question. That is to say, does the role of the submitted sample function as a handbag, backpack or as a toy?

In HQ 950752, dated January 9, 1992, classifying a stuffed toy with a backpack feature, Customs ruled:

Although the whimsical characters are designed to appeal to children, the presence of a functional compartment, shoulder straps and hook and loop closures indicate an intent for use as a carrying case, a use which characterizes the article at issue. The compartment which forms the animal body is functionally relevant and capable of use by a small child for the storing of small toys or supplies. Despite the proportions of this item, it is nonetheless recognizable as a backpack- the detachable shoulder straps do not detract from the items' carrying ability, since conventional backpacks also have straps which may be adjusted or removed . . . . We therefore find that heading 9503 does not adequately provide for the present merchandise and may not be classified therein.

See also, HQ 081729, dated February 16, 1990

Similarly, HQ 087792, dated December 18, 1990, in classifying novelty "pumpkin" and "reindeer" handbags, stated:

The only absolute requirement of a handbag is that it be held in the hand or hung by an arm/shoulder strap. This is true of the merchandise at issue. The size and sturdiness of these bags is more than sufficient for daily transport of personal effects.... It is true that the novel design will attract the consumer's attention to the article; it is our determination, however, that the utilitarian function of these items will provide the primary sales appeal and use of the product.

Analysis similar to the aforementioned Headquarters Rulings regarding handbags is appropriate for the submitted sample. It is essentially a novelty bag within which a child can place personal effects with a doll placed on the outside of the backpack. Though it is true that the features of the article are specifically designed to appeal to a child, it is the use of the article, i.e., as a carrying bag, which characterizes the article. Backpacks, regardless of size or intended purpose, are eo nomine provided for within subheading 4202, HTSUSA. Therefore, Customs finds the article was properly classified in heading 4202, HTSUSA, which provides inter alia, for backpacks.

However upon review, Customs has determined that the Baby Doll Carrier was erroneously classified due to an error which occurred in the classification of the subject merchandise at the subheading level. In NY F87328, the merchandise was classified as a handbag in subheading 4202.22.4500, HTSUSA. Customs believes that the subject merchandise is properly classified in subheading 4202.92.1500, HTSUSA, which provides for travel, sports and similar bags, including backpacks. The merchandise has adjustable straps on the back side of the bag and is designed for the child to wear on her back. It also has the dimensional size and carrying capacity characteristic of a child’s backpack and should be properly classified as such.


NY F87328, dated June 12, 2000, is hereby revoked.

The subject merchandise is properly classified in subheading 4202.92.1500, HTSUSA as “Trunks, suitcases, vanity-cases, attaché cases, briefcases, school satchels, spectacle cases, binocular cases, camera cases, musical instrument cases, gun cases, holsters and similar containers; traveling bags, toiletry bags, knapsacks and backpacks, handbags, shopping bags, wallets, purses, map cases, cigarette cases, tobacco pouches, tool bags, sports bags, bottle cases, jewelry boxes, powder boxes, cutlery cases 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: Other: With outer surface of sheeting of plastic or of textile materials: Travel, sports and similar bags: With outer surface of textile materials: Of vegetable fibers and not of pile or tuft construction: Of cotton.” The general column one rate of duty is 6.6 percent ad valorem and the textile category number is 369.

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 the 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

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