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HQ 963558

January 7, 2002

CLA2 RR:CR:TE 963558 SS


TARIFF NO. 4202.32.9550

Mr. Scott E. Rosenow, Esquire
Stein Shostak Shostak & O’Hara
1620 L Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036

RE: Revocation of Headquarters Ruling Letter 954403; Drawstring Pouch for Sunglasses; Subheading 4202.32.9550, HTSUSA; Not Heading 6307, HTSUSA

Dear Mr. Rosenow:

On November 16, 1993, Customs issued Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 954403 to you on behalf of your client, Brandon International, regarding the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) of a polyester drawstring pouch used as a container for sunglasses. This letter is to inform you that upon review of HQ 954403, it has been determined that the classification decision in HQ 954403 should be revoked.

HQ 954403, has been cited in several recent Headquarters Ruling Letters as being inconsistent with Customs position taken on merchandise classified in heading 6307, HTSUSA. See HQ 962551, dated June 16, 1999, and HQ 963575, dated October 12, 1999. This letter is to inform you that after review of the ruling, it has been determined that the classification of the textile drawstring pouch in HQ 954403 under subheading 6307.90.9986, HTSUSA, is incorrect. As such, HQ 954403 is revoked pursuant to the analysis which follows below.

Pursuant to section 625(c)(1), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)), as amended by section 623 of Title VI, (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057), a notice was published on December 5, 2001, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 35, Number 49, proposing to revoke HQ 954403 and any treatment pertaining to the classification of textile drawstring pouches for glasses. No comments were received in response to this notice.


The drawstring pouch was described in HQ 954403 as follows:

The sample is a 3 ½ by 7 inch drawstring pouch made of an ultra-fine polyester material. The pouch will be distributed to
purchasers of sunglasses for the purpose of providing a container with a drawstring closure to secure the glasses inside.


What is the proper classification of the polyester drawstring pouch for sunglasses?


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 headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI may then be applied. The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. While neither legally binding nor dispositive, the EN provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings.

The competing provisions at issue in this case are heading 4202, HTSUSA, and heading 6307, HTSUSA. Heading 4202, HTSUSA, provides for, among other things, spectacle cases and similar containers. The EN state that subheading 4202.32, HTSUSA, covers articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or in the handbag and includes spectacle cases, note cases (bill folds), wallets, purses, key cases, cigarette cases, cigar cases, pipe cases and tobacco pouches. Heading 6307, HTSUSA, provides for, among other things, other made up articles, and is a basket provision for articles not more specifically provided for elsewhere in the tariff.

Drawstring pouches have been classified under both heading 4202, HTSUSA, and heading 6307, HTSUSA, depending upon their construction and the purpose(s) for which they are designed. HQ 960135, dated July 11, 1997. Where a textile drawstring pouch is considered specially designed to hold an article and of adequate construction to be used repeatedly (rather than discarded), it is classifiable under heading 4202, HTSUSA. HQ 962551, dated June 16, 1999, and HQ 959524, dated November 4, 1996. If it is the kind of article to be carried in the pocket or handbag, with an outer surface of textile materials, it is classifiable under subheading 4202.32, HTSUSA. HQ 962551, dated June 16, 1999, and HQ 959524, dated November 4, 1996. Pouches classified outside heading 4202, HTSUSA, are generally those considered not specially designed to contain a particular article and not adequately constructed to sustain repeated use. HQ 960135, dated July 11, 1997.

More specifically, in the case of pouches or drawstring bags for glasses, Customs has been consistent in its determinations that such merchandise, when adequately constructed for repeated use is properly classified in heading 4202, HTSUSA. See HQ 964443, dated May 14, 2001, HQ 962551, dated June 16, 1999; HQ 960135, dated July 11, 1997; and HQ 959524; dated November 4, 1996. The instant drawstring pouch is adequately constructed for repeated use. Furthermore, the pouch is specially designed to suit the needs of the glasses it will carry. The dimensions of the pouch are more than adequate to snugly accommodate eyeglasses regardless of the absence of internal fittings or compartments. Additionally, the ultra-fine polyester fabric construction imparts a special feature to the subject merchandise in that it makes an ideal cleaning cloth for glasses. See HQ 960135, dated July 11, 1997, and HQ 959524, dated November 4, 1996. Thus, the instant drawstring bag is properly classified under heading 4202, HTSUSA.

In your submission, you cited a series of Customs rulings which you believe support your claim that the subject merchandise is classified under heading 6307, HTSUSA. We note that those rulings concern generic pouches (i.e., jewelry pouches, gift bags, etc.) which were determined to be of non-durable or insubstantial construction. They are distinguishable from the instant textile drawstring bag which is a substantially constructed pouch made of highly durable fabric specifically designed for glasses. In HQ 962551, Customs clarified that the durability and substantial nature of drawstring pouches are determinative factors to the classification of textile drawstring pouches. We note that even in HQ 954403, the instant drawstring pouch was described as adequately constructed for repeated used. Thus, Customs was incorrect in stating that the substantial nature of the drawstring pouch did not alter the conclusion. The substantiality of the drawstring pouch combined with its specially designed nature renders the article within the ambit of heading 4202, HTSUSA. Accordingly, the subject merchandise is properly classified in subheading 4202.32.9550, HTSUSA.


HQ 954403, dated November 16, 1993, is hereby revoked.

The polyester drawstring pouch for sunglasses is properly classified in subheading 4202.32.9550, HTSUSA, which provides for, among other things, articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or handbag: with outer surface
of sheeting or plastic or of textile materials: other: other, of man-made fibers. The applicable rate of duty is 18.3 percent ad valorem and the textile category code 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 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. The Status Report on Current Import Quota (Restraint Levels) is also available on the Customs Electronic Bulletin Board (CEBB) which can be found on the U.S. Customs Service Website at www.customs.treas.gov.

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.

In accordance with 19 U.S.C. §1625(c), this ruling will become effective sixty (60) days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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