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NY J89334

October 20, 2003

CLA-2-46:RR:NC:SP:230 J89334


TARIFF NO.: 4602.90.0000

Ms. Ann Vietello
Aigner Group, Inc.
47 Brunswick Ave.
Edison, NJ 08818-3111

RE: The tariff classification of a handbag, made of paper strips and textile yarns, from China.

Dear Ms. Vietello:

In your letter dated September 24, 2003, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

A sample identified as a “backpack-type handbag,” style 2503R (“Thompson St.”), was submitted for our examination and is being returned to you as requested. The bag, which measures approximately 4” x 9½” x 10”(H), is constructed with an outer surface of a woven material consisting of folded paper strips and textile yarns. The warp is entirely of the paper strips, while the weft is of polypropylene (“PP”) textile yarn alternating with jute textile yarn. (Our examination indicates that a square inch of the material contains 8 paper strips, 6 PP yarns and 4 jute yarns.) The carrying straps and trim appear to be made of imitation leather.

The bag has a flap cover that wraps over the top and that can be secured by means of a magnetic snap closure. The interior is lined with fabric and incorporates two storage pockets, one of which is zippered. The product also includes a tethered, 3” x 6” zippered change purse having the same type of construction as the bag.

For tariff classification purposes, style 2503R is considered a “composite good” whose exterior surfaces are composed of both plaiting materials (paper strips) and textile materials (PP yarns and jute yarns). According to General Rule of Interpretation (“GRI”) 3(b), HTS, the classification of a composite good is to be based on the material that imparts the essential character. However, in this instance we find that, based on factors such as appearance, quantity and comparative surface coverage, neither type of material clearly predominates, meaning that the essential character cannot be determined. In such situations, GRI 3(c) directs that the product will be classified in the heading appearing last in numerical order among those that equally merit consideration. In this case, the competing headings are 4202, HTS (bags with an outer surface of textile materials) and 4602, HTS (articles of plaiting materials).

Accordingly, the applicable subheading for the style 2503R handbag will be 4602.90.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for basketwork, wickerwork and other articles, made directly to shape from plaiting materials or made up from articles of heading 4601other (than of vegetable materials). The rate of duty will be 3.5%.

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 Bureau of Customs and Border Protection.

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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