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NY I83262

June 28, 2002

CLA-2-42:RR:NC:TA:341 I83262


TARIFF NO.: 4202.92.3031

Mr. Thomas McGeary
Thomas B. McGeary Brokers
149-09-183rd Street
Springfield Gardens, NY 11413

RE: The tariff classification of drawstring bags from India.

Dear Mr. McGeary:

In your letter dated June 22, 2002, on behalf of Int’l Textile Resources, Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling for drawstring bags.

The submitted samples are identified as styles CC-1071-A-Big, CC-1072-B-Med and CC-1072-C-small. Each is a velvet drawstring bag of the kind used as gift bags and is similar to articles commonly known as bottle gift bags. Each is constructed of an exterior of heavy weight velvet fabric of 100% man-made fibers and has a rayon satin lining. The bags have a twisted cord drawstring closure.

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 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.

You have requested classification within tariff heading 6307, HTSUSA. Heading 6307 is a residual provision covering textile articles not covered elsewhere in the tariff schedule, therefore we will first examine heading 4202, HTSUSA.

Heading 4202, HTSUSA, 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 order to warrant classification under heading 4202, HTSUSA, a carrying bag must be found to share the fundamental characteristics attributable to containers of heading 4202, HTSUSA. In Totes, Inc. v. United States, 18 C.I.T. 919, 865 F. Supp. 867, 871 (1994), aff'd, 14 Fed. Cir. (T) ___, 69 F.3d 495 (1995), the Court of International Trade concluded that the "essential characteristics and purpose of Heading 4202 exemplars are. . . to organize, store, protect and carry various items." With respect to the broad reach of the residual provision for "similar containers" in heading 4202, HTSUSA, the Court found that the rule requires only that the imported merchandise possess the essential character or purpose running through all of the enumerated exemplars. Thus, we must determine whether or not the drawstring bags are designed for organizing, storing, protecting and carrying various items.

Furthermore, Customs has stated that the substantiality of the container is a pertinent consideration in determining whether a wine bottle bag is classified in heading 4202, HTSUSA. See HQ 957464, HQ 960831 and HQ 960830 (cited above). The rationale is that substantial containers are more likely to be used for carrying purposes and are better able to protect their contents. The term "substantial" in this context refers not only to the material composition of the article, but also to whether it has been designed for repetitive use. Substantial bottle bags are classified in heading 4202, HTSUSA.

The instant drawstring bags posses the properties similar to the carrying bags classified under heading 4202, HTSUSA. Each bag is of strong and durable construction. The sturdy construction of the bag ensures that it will be used as protective packing not only for one purchase, but for any future articles placed therein. The thick pile fabric provides an added cushion of protection. Although the bag functions as an attractive means for presenting its contents, the bag is designed for re-use. The bag is constructed of materials durable enough to indicate it is intended to be used as more than a mere storage bag. Thus, the instant drawstring bags are for protecting, storing, and carrying and are properly classified under heading 4202, HTSUSA.

The applicable subheading for the drawstring bags will be 4202.92.3031, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for travel, sports and similar bags, with outer surface of textile materials, other, of man-made fibers, other. The rate of duty will be 18.1 percent ad valorem.

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 646-733-3041.


Robert B. Swierupski

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