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HQ 964742

January 2, 2001

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 964742 GGD


TARIFF NO.: 4202.92.9026

Ms. Sylvia Pickett
Global Pet Products, Incorporated
304 Braxton Ridge
Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27104

RE: Reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NY) G82387; PetPocket™ Pet Carrier

Dear Ms. Pickett:

This letter is in response to your recent request for reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NY) G82387, issued October 18, 2000, concerning the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) of a pet carrier designed to be worn on the front of a person. The article is made in Hong Kong. The sample submitted with your original ruling request is in our possession.


In NY G82387, Customs classified the article in subheading 4202.92.9026, HTSUSA, textile category 670, which provides for “Trunks...holsters and similar containers; traveling bags...: Other: With outer surface of sheeting of plastic or of textile materials: Other: Other, With outer surface of textile materials: Other: Of man-made fibers.”

The article at issue, identified as a PetPocket™ and by style number 74459, is a container that is designed to be worn on the front of the person and intended for use in transporting pets. The sample pet carrier has an outer surface composed of nylon textile material. The interior of the article is unlined. There is a reinforced bottom with a zippered compartment within which is a removable foam plastic pad. A short tether with a "safety ring" clasp is attached to the side of the carrier's interior near the top. The carrier also features a drawstring top closure, two adjustable padded textile shoulder straps, and a textile waist strap. Advertising literature states:

A PetPocket™ is a hands-free vest-style carrier for small pets such as dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets and sugar gliders. The PetPocket™ makes it easy for you and your pet to go together almost anywhere you go.


Whether the pet carrier is classified under heading 4201, HTSUSA, which covers saddlery and harness for any animal; or under heading 4202, HTSUSA, which covers, in part, specially shaped and fitted containers designed to protect and carry personal property.


Classification under the HTSUSA is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods 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 HTSUS by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRI.

Among other goods, chapter 42, HTSUSA, covers saddlery and harness, travel goods, handbags and similar containers. Heading 4201, HTSUSA, covers saddlery and harness for any animal (including traces, leads, knee pads, muzzles, saddle cloths, saddle bags, dog coats and the like), of any material. There are only two subheadings under heading 4201, these being, subheading 4201.00.3000, which provides for "Dog
leashes, collars, muzzles, harnesses and similar dog equipment;" and subheading 4201.00.6000, HTSUSA, which provides for "Other" (i.e., other types of saddlery and harness, and other equipment for any animal).

Heading 4202 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." In Totes, Incorporated v. United States, 18 C.I.T. 919, 865 F. Supp. 867 (1994), aff’d, 69 F.3d 495 (Fed. Cir. 1995), the Court of International Trade held that the essential characteristics and purposes of the heading 4202 exemplars are to organize, store, protect and carry various items.

The EN to heading 4202 indicate that the expression “similar containers” in the first part of the heading (i.e., the part before the semicolon) includes hat boxes, camera accessory cases, cartridge pouches, sheaths for hunting or camping knives, portable tool boxes or cases, specially shaped or internally fitted to contain particular tools with or without their accessories. With respect to the second part of the heading, the EN indicate that the expression “similar containers” 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.

Customs has previously classified pet carriers under heading 4202, HTSUSA. In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 958035, dated October 4, 1995 (copy attached), this office classified a soft-sided, textile, pet carrier bag with a double strap handle and textile shoulder strap in subheading 4202.92.9025, HTSUSA. It was noted that the articles enumerated in the text of subheading 4201.00.3000, HTSUSA, were all items designed to be affixed to, or worn by, a dog. We determined that since a pet carrier is designed to transport animals, it is not functionally similar to leashes, collars, muzzles, harnesses, or other equipment classifiable under heading 4201. The pet carrier was found, instead, to be a specially shaped and fitted container designed to provide storage, protection, and portability for personal property, i.e., a dog or cat. See also New York Ruling Letter (NY) 805859, dated January 24, 1995, NY 804677, dated

December 2, 1994, HQ 085514, dated October 3, 1989, and HQ 081724, dated November 28, 1989 (the latter concerning whether separately imported halves of a pet carrier could be classified as a complete article of heading 4202).

Although pets are often considered and treated as "part of the family," they must, for legal and tariff classification purposes, be considered goods which are the property of the pet owner. We find that the PetPocket™ pet carrier is similar to the containers enumerated in the second half of the first part of heading 4202, HTSUSA, which generally are shaped or fitted to carry certain items of personal property. Although pet carriers are not named in heading 4202, nor suggested in the EN as example containers, it need not be shown that a particular container specifically matches these descriptions. As the Court stated in Totes:

The rule of ejusdem generis requires only that the merchandise possess the essential character or purpose running through all of the enumerated exemplars. 865 F. Supp. at 872....Precise functional equivalence to, or commercial interchangeability with, any one particular exemplar enumerated in the Heading plainly is not required by the rule of ejusdem generis. Id. at 874.


The PetPocket™ pet carrier identified by style no. 74459 is classified in subheading 4202.92.9026, HTSUSA, textile category 670, the provision for “Trunks... holsters and similar containers; traveling bags...: Other: With outer surface of sheeting of plastic or of textile materials: Other: Other, With outer surface of textile materials: Other: Of man-made fibers.” The general column one duty rate is 18.6 percent ad valorem.

NY G82387, issued October 18, 2000, is hereby affirmed.

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 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.


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