CLA-2:CO:R:C:G 083612 SR
Mr. Richard M. Wortman
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz & Silverman
12 East 49th Street
New York, New York 10017
RE: Classification of garment bags
Dear Mr. Wortman:
This is in reference to your letter dated January 24, 1989,
requesting the tariff classification of garment bags under the
Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated
The merchandise at issue consists of 5 styles of garment
bags, importer numbers 40BB, 54T, 45V, BB72 and 46N. The
importer describes these samples as follows:
Style 40BB is a vinyl suit cover constructed of 3 gauge
vinyl with a taffeta finish. It measures 24" x 40", and has a
34" zipper running down the center of the cover. There is a
transparent circular window to view the contents and a reinforced
opening at the top through which a clothes hanger is placed.
After importation the name of a retailer or manufacturer may be
printed below the window. The suit cover has no gusset and is
valued at approximately $.48 per piece.
Style 54T is a vinyl coat cover that is identical to style
40BB except for size. It measures 24" x 54" and has a 52"
zipper. The entered value is approximately $.64.
Style BB72 is a vinyl bridal gown bag that is constructed of
4 gauge clear vinyl. It measures 24" x 72". It has a 62" zipper
and a reinforced opening at the top to allow for the protrusion
of a clothes hanger. It also has a gusset due to the fullness of
the type of garment. The entered value is approximately $1.23
Style 46N consists of a vinyl suit cover that is constructed
in 3 gauge vinyl with a taffeta finish. It is designed to hold
one suit to be sold in a "big and tall type shop or department."
It has a 41" zipper. In all other respects it is identical to
style 40BB described above. The entered value for this item will
be approximately $.56 per piece.
What is the classification of garment bags under the HTSUSA?
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 078780, dated March 5,
1987, provided an advisory opinion under the HTSUSA, stating:
[G]arment bags constructed of 4 mil or thicker vinyl appear
to be 4202.92.45.00 as travel bags with outer surface of
plastic sheeting: other. The HS provision applicable to
garment bags constructed of less than 4 mil thick vinyl and
the bridal gown bags even though constructed of 4 gauge
vinyl appears to be 3924.90.50.00 as other household
articles of plastics: other: other.
Garment bags that are constructed of 4 mil or thicker vinyl
are substantially constructed so as to warrant classification as
luggage. In determining the thickness of the garment bags the
Customs Service uses the formula for determining the gauge of
embossed non-rigid vinyl chloride film as recommended by the
American Society for Testing & Materials (ASTM designation D1593-
81). (See HRL 080214 dated September 16, 1987, and HRL 078780
dated March 5, 1987.)
The importer claims that the bags cannot be luggage because
they are not substantial packaging, they are similar to packaging
in a cardboard box, also because of how they are advertised and
how they are bought and sold. In literature previously
distributed by Econoco Corporation, the bags are advertised as
being durable storage and protection bags for home and travel.
Bags that measure 4 mil or thicker are not considered as being of
flimsy construction and are in fact considered as being "premium
packaging" or packaging which is intended to be used on a
continuing basis by the ultimate purchaser. The purpose of the
imprinting of a store name on this type of bag is so that the
name will continue to be in the "public eye" as they are used in
travel. These bags are not analogous to a cardboard box and they
are not considered disposable.
If any of the garment bags at issue measure under 4 mil they
should be classified under heading 3923, HTSUSA, as articles for
the conveyance or packing of goods, of plastics. These bags
would be flimsy and would not be designed for repetitive use.
The importer claims that the garment bags at issue are
intended to be used for the packing and conveyance of articles of
clothing purchased by the consumer and are most frequently used
for this purpose. The Explanatory Notes, which provide the
official interpretation of the tariff at the international level,
state for heading 3923, HTSUSA, that this heading covers all
articles of plastics commonly used for the packing or conveyance
of all kinds of products.
The garment bags at issue that measure 4 mil or thicker are
classifiable under subheading 4202.92.4500, HTSUSA, which
provides for trunks, suitcases, traveling bags, and similar
containers, other, with outer surface of plastic sheeting
materials. These items have a rate of duty of 20 percent ad
The garment bags at issue that measure less than 4 mil are
classifiable under subheading 3923.90.00, HTSUSA, which provides
for articles for the conveyance or packing of goods of plastics,
other. The rate of duty is 3 percent ad valorem. HRL 078780
dated March 5, 1987, is hereby modified.
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division