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HQ 960557

September 1, 2000

CLA-2: RR:CR:TE 960557 ASM


TARIFF NO.: 6307.90.9989

Ms. Rita Crawford
Import Coordinator
Columbia Shipping Inc. (West)
P.O. Box 90758
Los Angeles, CA 90009-0758

RE: Request for Binding Ruling; Wine Bottle Bags; Decorative Covering; Other Made Up Textile Articles; Heading 6307, HTSUSA

Dear Ms. Crawford :

This is in response to your request on behalf of W-C Designs concerning the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) of various textile wine bottle bags. We regret the delay in responding to this ruling request. We note that samples have been provided with your request.


The subject wine bags are made of various fabrics and have a rope cord attached to the exterior of the bag to tie around the neck of the wine bottle. The bags have a square bottom panel and side seam. None of the bags have linings, however, the damask fabric appears durable in that it is of the type often used for furniture or curtains. You indicate that the intended use of this product is to decorate a wine bottle as part of a table setting. Your description of the merchandise is as follows:

Style Fabric Characteristics
Jingle All The Way Damask Cord with bell
Formal Affair Damask Rope cord trim
Dinner At Eight Damask Velvet trim
Shimmering Nights (Gold Stars) Nylon Wire trim; gold cording/tassle *Damask as mentioned above is 60% Cotton/40% Polyester


Whether the subject merchandise is properly classified under the provision for “bottle cases” or “similar containers” of heading 4202, HTSUSA or as an “Other made up article” of heading 6307, HTSUSA.


Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (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 heading 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.

This office has previously ruled on the classification of decorative wine bottle bags and found that they are classifiable under heading 4202, HTSUSA, or heading 6307, HTSUSA, depending upon the construction and purpose for which they have been designed. See Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 957464, dated April 18, 1995; HQ 959538, dated November 7, 1996; HQ 960403, dated August 1, 1997; HQ 960367, dated August 6, 1997; HQ 960831, dated January 26, 1998; HQ 960830, dated July 21, 1998, and HQ 963222, dated August 19, 1999.

Heading 4202, HTSUSA, provides as follows:

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.

The EN to 4202 indicates that the heading covers only the articles specifically named and similar containers. In this case, “bottle cases” are specified in heading 4202, HTSUSA, however, in previous rulings, Customs has stated that bottle bags are not “bottle cases” within the meaning of the heading. See HQ 960367, HQ 960403, HQ 960830, HQ 960831, and HQ 963222. Thus, in order to determine whether or not the subject items are classifiable as “similar containers” under heading 4202, HTSUSA, we must look to factors, which would identify the merchandise as being ejusdem generis (of a similar kind) to those specified in the provision.

In applying the principle of ejusdem generis, the case of Totes, Inc. v. United States, 18 CIT 919, 865 F. Supp. 867, 871 (1994), aff’d. 69 F. 3d 495 (1995), stated that if the merchandise "shares" the essential characteristics of the exemplars listed eo nomine, they are classifiable as “similar containers” under 4202, HTSUSA. Accordingly, the court held that in classifying merchandise as a “similar container” of heading 4202, HTSUSA, the rule of ejusdem generis only requires that the imported merchandise possess the essential character or purpose running through all the enumerated exemplars, i.e., “to organize, store, protect and carry various items.”

In determining whether a bottle bag is designed to organize, store, protect or carry various articles, Customs has indicated that the substantiality of the container must be considered in deciding if a bottle bag is classified in heading 4202, HTSUSA. See HQ 957464, HQ 960831 (cited above), and HQ 960830 (cited above). The subject bag is constructed of one layer of thin woven fabric. The fabric, while decorative, is not plush or thick enough to serve as protection. Nor is there a handle to facilitate carrying of the bottle; each bag has a decorative rope or cording which is intended to be wrapped and tied around the neck of the bottle. Again this appears to serve a decorative rather than functional purpose. In the instant case, the subject bag has been constructed with a circular panel, which allows the bag to conform to the base of the bottle. Customs has previously stated that bottle bags with inset circular fabric bases are classified under heading 4202, HTSUSA. However, the fact that they were specially shaped and fitted was not explicitly stated in the rulings as a basis for classification under 4202, HTSUSA, and only weighed in favor of the classification. See HQ 963357 dated December 21, 1999.

In the instant case, we find that the bag is very similar to the “wine bottle/liquor bottle gift pouch” which was the subject of HQ 963357 (cited above) in which the merchandise was described as a bottle bag comprised of two layers of thin woven man-made fiber material with a decorative twist tie cord. In that case, it was determined that the purpose of the bag was decorative rather than protective and should be classified under subheading 6307.90.9989, HTSUSA, which provides for “other made up articles.” Similarly, the subject merchandise has no protective insulation, consists of a single layer of fabric, and has only a decorative cording to close the bag around the neck of the bottle. It is our determination that the subject bottle bags are designed and constructed to function as an attractive covering rather than a covering that would organize, store, protect, or carry the bottle. As such, the subject bottle bags should be classified as “Other made up articles” under heading 6307, HTSUSA.


The subject merchandise is correctly classified in subheading 6307.90.9989, HTSUSA, which provides for, “Other made up articles, including dress patterns: Other: Other: Other, Other: Other.” The general column one duty rate is 7 percent ad valorem.

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.


John Durant, Director

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