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HQ 964615

August 21, 2001

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 964615 JFS


TARIFF NO.: 4202.92.9026

Mr. Marty Langtry
Tower Group International, Inc.
2400 Marine Avenue
Redondo Beach, California 90278-1103

RE: Revocation of HQ 958000, dated October 20, 1995; Classification of a Carrying Case for Diabetics; Heading 4202, HTSUSA; Binocular Cases, Camera Cases, Musical Instrument Cases and Similar Containers.

Dear Mr. Langtry:

This letter is to inform you that Customs has reconsidered Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 958000, issued on October 20, 1995, concerning the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) of a carrying case for diabetics. After review of that ruling, it has been determined that the classification of the carrying case in subheading 4202.92.3030, HTSUSA, was incorrect. For the reasons that follow, this ruling revokes HQ 958000.

Pursuant to section 625(c)(1) Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(1)) as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub. L. 103-82, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186), notice of the proposed revocation of HQ 958000 was published on July 11, 2001, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 35, Number 28. One comment was submitted in response to the notice.


In HQ 958000, Customs sustained its decision in New York Ruling Letter (NY) 809004, dated April 26, 1995, classifying the article under consideration in subheading 4202.92.3030, HTSUSA (now subheading 4202.92.3031, HTSUSA). Subheading 4202.92.3030, HTSUSA, provides, in part, for “Travel, sports and similar bags: with outer surface of textile materials: Other, Other: Of man-made fibers: Other.”

In HQ 958000, the carrying case was described as follows:

The cases, which are designed to carry small medical supplies, will be imported empty and sold only to a medical equipment company. That company will insert supplies needed by diabetics (e.g., syringes, testing tools, etc.), then sell the kits to doctors, hospitals, or clinics, which will either sell or give them to diabetics.

The sample is a carrying bag that measures approximately 7 inches in length by 4-1/4 inches in height by 1-1/2 inches in depth, is zippered on 3 sides, and is similar to a travel or toiletry case. The bag's exterior is composed of nylon woven fabric. The interior features 2 clear plastic pockets, each of which extends the length and height of each side. A nylon zippered bag, which measures approximately 6-1/2 inches by 3-1/4 inches, is sewn into one of the interior ends.


Is the carrying case for diabetics properly classified under subheading 4202.92.3031, HTSUSA, the provision for “travel, sports and similar bags,” or is it properly classified under subheading 4202.92.9026, the provision for “other” containers or cases?


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.

At the subheading level, the carrying case can be classified as a travel, sports or similar bag under subheading 4202.92.31, HTSUSA, or it can be classified as an “other” container or case under subheading 4202.92.9026. The additional U.S. notes become applicable at the eight-digit level or U.S. subdivision of the international subheadings. Concerning travel, sports and similar bags, Additional U.S. Note 1 to chapter 42, HTSUS, states that:

For the purposes of heading 4202, the expression “travel, sports and similar bags” means goods, other than those falling in subheadings 4202.11 through 4202.39, of a kind designed for carrying clothing and other personal effects during travel, including backpacks and shopping bags of this heading, but does not include binocular cases, camera cases, musical instrument cases, bottle cases and similar containers.

In HQ 962132, dated October 26, 2000, Customs considered the classification of carrying cases for a blood glucose monitoring system. The carrying cases were designed with specially fitted compartments to hold the components of the monitoring system. Customs found that the carrying cases had the same characteristics and functions as other specialty cases such as musical instrument cases, camera cases, binocular cases and compact disk cases. Due to the similarity of the cases, Customs classified the carrying cases for the blood glucose monitoring system in the same subheading as the specially fitted cases, i.e., subheading 4202.92.90, HTSUSA.

Like the carrying cases in HQ 962132, the instant carrying case is designed with specially fitted compartments to hold and carry supplies needed by diabetics. The instant carrying case has the same characteristics and functions as the specialty cases that are classified under subheading 4202.92.9026, HTSUSA, as “other” containers or cases. Moreover, these specialty cases are specifically excluded from classification as “travel, sports and similar bags” by operation of Additional U.S. Note 1 to chapter 42, HTSUSA. Accordingly, Customs finds that the carrying case is classified under subheading 4202.92.9026, 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: Of man made fibers.” See, HQ 962132. See also, Port Decision (PD) 88022, dated June 4, 1998;


HQ 958000 is revoked. The carrying case for diabetics is classified under subheading 4202.92.9026, HTSUSA. The general column one duty rate is 18.6% ad valorem and the applicable textile category designation is 670.

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 negotiations and changes, we suggest that the importer check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report On Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is updated weekly and is available at the 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, the importer should contact the local Customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


HQ 958000, issued on October 20, 1995, is hereby REVOKED. In accordance with 19 U.S.C. §1625(c), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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