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NY H83867

August 17, 2001

CLA-2-42:RR:NC:3:341 H83867


TARIFF NO.: 4202.92.3031

Ms. Melissa Weiss
Barthco International, Inc.
721 Chestnut Street
Philidelphia, PA. 19106

RE: The tariff classification of a diaper bag and handbag from China

Dear Ms. Weiss:

In your letter dated July 25, 2001 you requested a classification ruling.

A sample of style N-105705, handbag, has been submitted. The bag is manufactured of a woven “straw” body and printed cotton front and rear panels.

A sample of style N-19512 , baby tote bag with accessories, has been submitted . The bag is wholly manufactured of nylon textile materials and measures approximately 16”x12”x5”. It has an adjustable shoulder strap, one main interior compartment with divider, an exterior zippered flap section with pouches for a cell phone, wipe container, a hook and loop holder and fitted pouch for a plush toy. The exterior rear has one storage pouch with hook and loop closure. The bag is presented put up for retail sale as a set including a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) storage pouch, a nylon bottle case, a padded changing pad, a key fob and a 4” plush dog. The set is used for the storage, protection, organization and portability of the personal effects and accessories container within and for the care of a baby.

The bottle case is designed to contain a single baby bottle. Although you have indicated that it is an “insulator”, the case is not insulated. The bottle case is of a kind normally classified in tariff number 4202.92.9025 HTSUSA.

The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) set forth the manner in which merchandise is to be classified under the HTSUSA. GRI 1 requires that classification be determined first according to the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes and, unless otherwise required, according to the remaining GRI's, taken in order. In other words, classification is governed first by the terms of the headings of the tariff and relative section or chapter notes.

The issue to be addressed in this case is whether the baby bag and accessories, are classifiable as a "set" or under separate provisions in the tariff. In the instant case, because no heading, by itself, covers the subject merchandise, classification cannot be determined by applying GRI 1 alone. Therefore, reference to the subsequent GRI's is necessary. GRI 2(b), HTSUSA, provides in pertinent part that "[t]he classification of goods consisting of more than one material or substance shall be according to the principles of GRI 3."

GRI 3, HTSUSA, provides in pertinent part:

When, by application of Rule 2(b) or for any other reason, goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, classification shall be effected as follows:

The heading that provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description. However, when two or more headings each refer to part only of the materials or substances contained in mixed or composite goods or to part only of the items in a set put up for retail sale, those headings are to be regarded as equally specific in relation to those goods, even if one of them gives a more complete or precise description of the goods. Since the baby bag and accessories fall under separate headings in the tariff schedule which describe only a portion of the materials in the entire unit, the headings are to be regarded as equally specific under GRI 3(a). Therefore GRI 3(a) fails in establishing classification, and GRI 3(b) becomes applicable.

GRI 3(b) states in pertinent part:

(b) Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

The Explanatory Notes to the HTS constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. The Explanatory Notes for GRI 3, HTSUSA, set forth a three-part test for "goods put up in sets for retail sale." The three-step definition states the following: For the purposes of this Rule, the term 'goods put up in sets for retail sale' shall be taken to mean goods which:

(a) consist of at least two different articles that are prima facie, classifiable in different headings; (b) consist of products or articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity; and (c) are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking (e.g., in boxes or cases or on boards).

An article must meet all of the above conditions in order to be regarded as a "set" for tariff purposes. The bag is classifiable within one heading in the nomenclature while the other accessories fall under separate provisions in the nomenclature. The nylon bag serves as the means to store, protect, organize and provide portability for the articles carried within. The accessories are articles normally carried in a baby bag. It is clear that all of the items are packaged together for sale directly to users without any further repacking. Therefore, the travel bag and accessories fulfill parts (a), (b) and (c) of the above definition. It is the opinion of this office that the travel bag and accessories constitute a "set" according to the above definition.

The applicable subheading for the baby bag set, style N-19512, will be 4202.92.3031, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for travel, sport and similar bags, of textile materials, with outer surface of textile materials, of man-made fibers. The duty rate will be 18.3 percent ad valorem.

Articles classifiable in subheading 4202.92, HTSUS, fall within textile category designation 670. Based upon international textile trade agreements products of China are subject to quota and the requirement of a visa.

The designated textile and apparel categories and their quota and visa status are the result of international agreements that are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes. To obtain the most current information, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the U.S. Customs Service Textile Status Report, an internal issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is available at the Customs Web site at www.customs.gov. In addition, the designated textile and apparel categories may be subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected and should also be verified at the time of shipment.

We are returning your request for a classification ruling, and any related samples, exhibits, etc., because we need additional information in order to issue a ruling. Please submit:

1. Identify the generic name of the “straw” material. 2. A breakdown of component materials by value at a point just prior to final assembly.

When this information is available, you may wish to consider resubmission of your request. If you decide to resubmit your request, please include all of the material that we have returned to you and mail your request to U.S. Customs, Customs Information Exchange, Room 437, 6 World Trade Center, New York, NY 10048, attn: Binding Rulings Section.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations 19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Kevin Gorman at 212-637-7091.


Robert B. Swierupski

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