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HQ 963573

April 8, 2002

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 963573 GGD


TARIFF NO.: 4202.92.3031

Mr. Michael R. Spano
Michael R. Spano & Company
190 McKee Street
Floral Park, New York 11001

RE: Modification of PD D85274; "Garden Party" Bag; "Tote" Bag similar to Travel, Sports and Similar Bags; Not Handbag

Dear Mr. Spano:

In Port Ruling Letter (PD) D85274, issued to you on December 10, 1998, one of the three bags classified therein, identified as "Garden Party" and by style number 75187, was classified in subheading 4202.22.8050, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), textile category 670, which in pertinent part, provides for "...Handbags, whether or not with shoulder strap, including those without handle: With outer surface of sheeting of plastic or of textile materials: With outer surface of textile materials: Other: Other: Other, Of man-made fibers." We have reviewed PD D85274 and have found the ruling to be in error. Therefore, this ruling modifies PD D85274.

Pursuant to section 625(c), Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. § 1625(c)), notice of the proposed modification of PD D85274 was published on March 6, 2002, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 36, Number 10.


The sample bag classified in PD D85274 had an outer surface composed of 100 percent polyester textile material. The bag measured approximately 15 inches by 10-1/2 inches by 4 inches, had one zippered central compartment, one zippered pocket sewn into the lining, and two carrying handles that were composed of the same material as the outer surface.


Whether the "Garden Party" bag is properly classified as a handbag in subheading 4202.22.8050, HTSUSA, or as a "tote," similar to a travel bag in subheading 4202.92.3031, HTSUSA.


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 HTSUSA by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRI.

Among other articles, heading 4202, HTSUSA, covers traveling bags, toiletry bags, handbags, and similar containers. Subheading 4202.92, HTSUSA, provides in part for travel, sports and similar bags. Additional U.S. Note 1 to chapter 42, HTSUSA, states:

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....

Subheadings 4202.21 through 4202.29, HTSUSA, provide for handbags. The word “handbag” is defined in Webster’s New World Dictionary, Second College Edition, 1972, as: “1. a small container for money, toilet articles, keys, etc., carried by women; purse 2. a small suitcase or valise.”

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 957917, issued July 7, 1995, this office reconsidered and reclassified in subheading 4202.92.1500, HTSUSA, a woven cotton bag which measured approximately 14 inches by 10 inches by 5 inches. The bag had a reinforced open top with double carrying straps, one central compartment, no lining, and no additional pockets or compartments. We stated that tote bags similar to those described immediately above were no longer classifiable as handbags, and that such bags were to be regarded as multipurpose bags for carrying various personal effects.

In HQ 962364, dated December 8, 1998, we classified three separate bags with outer surfaces of cotton and textile carrying handles. Each bag measured approximately 9 inches in height by 11-1/2 inches in width, and had gussets allowing expansion to approximately 3 inches in depth. Two of the bags had one zippered central compartment, no lining, and no additional pockets, and one of the bags had an open top, central compartment and a flat pocket attached to its interior lining. We found that none of the bags was designed or intended to be used as a container for items normally carried in a woman’s handbag, and that all three styles were multipurpose bags for carrying various personal effects other than, or in addition to, those normally carried in a woman’s handbag. The bags were classified as travel bags in subheading 4202.92.1500, HTSUSA.

In this case, the dimensions and features of the bag identified as style 75187 indicate that the bag is a multipurpose "tote" for carrying various personal effects other than, or in addition to, those normally carried in a woman’s handbag. The bag is classified in subheading 4202.92.3031, HTSUSA.


PD D85274, dated December 10, 1998, is hereby modified.

The bag identified by style no. 75187 and as "Garden Party," is classified in subheading 4202.92.3031, HTSUSA, textile category 670, the provision for "Trunks...: Other: With outer surface of sheeting of plastic or of textile materials: Travel, sports and similar bags: With outer surface of textile materials: Other, Other: Of man-made fibers: Other." The general column one duty rate is 18.1 percent ad valorem. There are no applicable quota/visa requirements for the products of World Trade Organization ("WTO") members. The textile category number above applies to merchandise produced in non-WTO countries.

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 Quotas (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.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 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin.


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