CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 082829 HP

Ms. Carol A. Garrity
Sales Administrator
Garrett-Hewitt International, Inc.
901 N. Broadway, Suite 16
North White Plains, NY 10603

RE: Plastic Tote Tubes are not articles of plastic sheeting, but articles for packing or conveyance.

Dear Ms. Garrity:

This is in reply to your letter of August 9, 1988, concerning the tariff classification of Beach Safe/Tote Tubes, produced in Taiwan, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The merchandise at issue consists of a molded plastic tote tube. The article is designed to house money, keys, etc., during sporting events when lugging a wallet or purse would be incon venient. The main body of the article consists of a cylindrical lower portion, a screw-on top portion, with a rubber-like seal in the middle. The top portion has attached to it a woven textile cord with a coating of plastics visible to the naked eye. The cord runs through a small plastic clip to avoid entanglements. The lower portion has the words "TOTE-TUBE" written on the front, and the words "MADE IN TAIWAN R.O.C." in raised letters on the bottom .


Whether the merchandise has an outer surface of plastic sheeting; if not, whether the merchandise is an article for conveyance or packing of goods under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA)? LAW AND ANALYSIS:

Heading 4202, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, containers similar to traveling bags, purses, sports bags, etc., of plastic sheeting. The Explanatory Notes to the HTSUSA constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. Explanatory Note 42.02 states, in pertinent part:

[t]he articles covered by the second part of the heading must ... be only of the materials specified therein or must be wholly or mainly covered with such materials ....

Classification must lie, therefore, in the definition of "plastic sheeting." Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (1986) defines sheet and sheeting as:

sheet 5: A broad thinly expanded portion of metal or other substance.

sheeting 1: a material in the form of sheets * * * b: material (as a plastic) in the form of continuous film * * *.

See also Sekisui Products, Inc. v. United States, 63 Cust. Ct. 123, C.D. 3885 (1969) (citing the Webster's definition of "sheets" with approval).

It is our opinion that the above cited definition requires a finding that an article which is made directly from a mass of plastic, which never becomes a "sheet" or "sheeting" and which never has a "sheet" or "sheeting" applied to its surface, cannot be classified under the provision for articles with an outer surface of plastic sheeting in heading 4202, HTSUSA.

Heading 3923, HTSUSA, provides for articles for the conveyance or packing of goods, of plastics. Explanatory Note 39.23 states that this heading covers all articles of plastic commonly used for packing or conveyance of all kinds of products. Inasmuch as the instant tube is a case used to convey personal articles when a wallet or purse would be inconvenient, the instant merchandise is considered an article for conveyance.


For the foregoing reasons, the merchandise is classified under subheading 3923.10.0000, HTSUSA, as articles for the conveyance or packing of goods, of plastics; stoppers, lids, caps and other closures, of plastics, boxes, cases, crates and similar articles. The applicable rate of duty is 3 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division