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HQ 964613

June 25, 2001

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 964613 JFS


TARIFF NO.: 4202.92.9060, 9817.00.96

Ms. Dulce M. Gomez
Eagle USA Airfreight, Inc.
2330 NW Avenue
Miami, FL 33122

RE: Ruling Request; Classification of a Carrying Case for a Blood Glucose Monitoring System; Diabetes; Nairobi Protocol; Subheading 9817.00.96, HTSUSA; Articles Specially Designed or Adapted for the Use or Benefit of the Blind or Other Physically or Mentally Handicapped; Heading 4202, HTSUSA; Binocular Cases, Camera Cases, Musical Instrument Cases and Similar Containers; Not Heading 9027, HTSUSA; Not Accessories of Instruments and Apparatus for Physical or Chemical Analysis

Dear Ms. Dulce:

This letter is in response to your Binding Ruling Request dated September 1, 2000, on behalf of Home Diagnostics, Inc., concerning the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) of a carrying case for a blood glucose monitoring system. A sample of the carrying case was forwarded with the Binding Ruling Request.


The article under consideration is a small carrying case for a blood glucose monitoring system. The exterior of the case is composed of sheeting of plastics. The case is approximately 4 inches, by 4 ¼ inches by 1 inch. The product is designed for use as an accessory with a blood glucose monitoring system used by a diabetic person for testing blood glucose levels. The case is fitted to hold and carry the equipment contained within the blood glucose monitoring system.


Is the carrying case for a blood glucose monitoring system properly classified under subheading 4202.32, HTSUSA, as an article of a kind normally carried in the pocket or in the handbag, or under subheading 4202.92.90, as an “other” container or case?


Classification of goods under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). 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 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.

The carrying case is classified in heading 4202, HTSUSA, which provides for:

Trunks, suitcases, vanity cases, attache 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 cases, 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.

You state that at the subheading level the article is classifiable under subheading 4202.32, HTSUSA, as an article of a kind normally carried in the pocket or in the handbag. However, the carrying case is not similar to the exemplars listed in the EN for subheading 4202.32, HTSUSA, such as wallets, key-cases and cigarette cases. Although it is of a size similar to the goods of subheading 4202.32, HTSUSA, its characteristics and functions are similar to other specialty cases such as musical instrument cases, camera cases, binocular cases and compact disk cases that are classified under subheading 4202.92, HTSUSA. Accordingly, Customs finds that the carrying case is classified under subheading 4202.92.9060, HTSUSA, which provides, in part, for “Trunks, suitcases spectacle cases, binocular cases, camera cases . . .: Other: With outer surface of sheeting of plastic or of textile materials: Other: Other, Other: Other.” See, HQ 962132, dated October 26, 2000. See also, Port Decision (PD) 88022, dated June 4, 1998;


The carrying case for the blood glucose monitoring system is classified under subheading 4202.92.9060, HTSUSA. However, pursuant to Customs prior decision in HQ 561283, dated August 26, 1999, the carrying case is eligible for duty-free treatment under subheading 9817.00.96, HTSUSA, the provision for “[a]rticles specially designed or adapted for the use or benefit of the blind or other physically or mentally handicapped persons; parts and accessories (except parts and accessories of braces and artificial limb prosthetics) that are specially designed or adapted for use in the foregoing articles: Other”. The general column one duty rate is “Free.”


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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