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NY I87148

October 30, 2002

CLA-2-46:RR:NC:2:230 I87148


TARIFF NO.: 4602.10.2500

Mr. Troy Myers
Limited Logistics Services
Four Limited Parkway
Reynoldsburg, OH 43068

RE: The tariff classification of a cotton and rattan handbag from China

Dear Mr. Myers:

In your letter dated October 4, 2002, on behalf of the importer, Bath and Body Works Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The ruling was requested on a handbag, style number 29148, 121061. A sample of the bag was submitted, which will be returned to you as you requested. The sample is a handbag having a rigid outer structure with soft fabric sides. The bag measures approximately 11-3/4” high by 8-1/2” wide by 3-3/4” deep on the bottom. The rigid outer structure is a one piece oval shaped construction comprising the handle, ends and bottom of the bag. It is formed using a frame of two spaced thick rattan rods held together and filled in with interwoven thin rattan rods. Sewn to the rattan outer structure is a cotton canvas pouch with a hook and loop closure. The side panels of the pouch comprise the outer sides of the bag. The handbag is a composite good composed of rattan rods and cotton fabric.

Classification of goods under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI’s). GRI 1 states that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Goods consisting of more than one material, which are classifiable under two or more headings, are classified according to the principles of GRI 3. GRI 3(b) states that composite goods consisting of different materials shall be classified according to the material which gives them their essential character. GRI 3(c) states that composite goods which cannot be classified by reference to 3(b), shall be classified under the heading which occurs last in numerical order in the HTSUS among those which equally merit consideration.

You expressed the opinion that the essential character of the subject bag is imparted by the cotton canvas. You believe that the cotton canvas pouch performs the function of a handbag while the rattan only provides support and a handle. Therefore, you believe that the bag is classifiable in subheading 4202.22.4500, HTSUS, which provides for . . . handbags, . . . with an outer surface of textile materials, of cotton.

We disagree, however, that the rattan portion plays a secondary role in the functioning of this article. The rattan is more than just a supporting frame and handle. It forms a substantial portion of the outer surface of the bag. The rattan forms the outer ends and bottom of the bag, which are at least as equal in importance to the functioning of this bag as are the cotton side panels. In addition, the rattan outer structure is equally important in giving this bag its unique character and shape. Consequently, we find that both the rattan and the cotton equally merit consideration in the classification of this handbag. Based on GRI 3(c), classification shall be according to the heading which appears last in the tariff. The competing headings are 4202 and 4602, HTSUS.

The applicable subheading for the cotton and rattan handbag, style number 29148, 121061, will be 4602.10.2500, HTSUS, which provides for basketwork, wickerwork and other articles, made directly to shape from plaiting materials; luggage, handbags and flatgoods, whether or not lined; of rattan or of palm leaf, other. The rate of duty will be 18 percent ad valorem.

The holding set forth above applies only to the specific factual situation and merchandise description as identified in the ruling request. This position is clearly set forth in 19 CFR 177.9(b)(1). This section states that a ruling letter is issued on the assumption that all of the information furnished in the ruling letter, either directly, by reference, or by implication, is accurate and complete in every material respect.

This ruling is being issued under the assumption that the subject goods, in their condition as imported into the United States, conform to the facts and the description as set forth both in the ruling request and in this ruling. In the event that the facts or merchandise are modified in any way, you should bring this to the attention of Customs and you should resubmit for a new ruling in accordance with 19 CFR 177.2. You should also be aware that the material facts described in the foregoing ruling may be subject to periodic verification by the Customs Service.

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 Paul Garretto at 646-733-3035.


Robert B. Swierupski

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