CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 087640 KWM
Mr. Alan Siegal
Genghis Khan Freight Service Inc.
161-15 Rockaway BoulevardJamaica, New York 11434
RE: Plastic coated textile; Handbag; Backpack; Travel, sports
and similar bags; Outer surface of plastics; Tactile and
visible; Exterior surface.
Dear Mr. Siegal:
This will acknowledge receipt of your letter dated
July 11, 1990, regarding the classification of merchandise
described as a "handbag." Your letter and a sample of the
goods were forwarded to this office for a response.
The merchandise at issue is described in your letter as a
"handbag." The bag is similar to a backpack, rectangular in
shape with a zipper across the top front edge. The zipper
opens into the main, center compartment of the bag. On the
front is a pocket having a flap closure and a buckle fastener.
On top is a strip of textile webbing which could serve as a
handle. On either side is a D-ring to which a long textile
webbing strap is attached. The strap may be attached like a
shoulder strap on a handbag, or may be threaded through two
additional D-rings on the back of the bag to create a pair of
shoulder straps like a backpack.
The material is a woven textile described as cotton. It
has been printed with cartoon caricatures and covered with a
clear plastics described as compact polyurethane. The clear
plastic allows the printing to be visible on the outer surface
of the bag but still present a "glossy" waterproof exterior.
The textile and plastics layers are not easily separated.
How is this merchandise classified under the
Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated?
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of
the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is made in accordance
with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). The
systematic detail of the harmonized system is such that
virtually all goods are classified by application of GRI 1,
that is, according to the terms of the headings of the
tariff schedule and any relevant 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's may be applied, taken in
After reviewing the eligible headings in this case, we
believe that the terms of heading 4202, HTSUSA, best describe
the goods at issue. That heading provides for, in pertinent
. . . [t]raveling 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 plastic sheeting, of textile materials, of
vulcanized fiber or of paperboard, or wholly or
mainly covered with such materials.
To be classified here, a product must be one of the itemsnamed
in the heading (or sufficiently similar to it) and must
be 'of' one of the enumerated materials.
We do not agree with your description of this item as a
"handbag." While it might be used in such a manner we do not
believe that it will be used principally or primarily as such.
Rather, we consider a much more likely use to be that of a
backpack, travel bag or similar bag for the transport of
personal effects. We rely not only on our inspection of the
goods and the heading terms, but also on Additional U.S. Note1
to Chapter 42 which states:
For the purposes of heading 4202, the expression
"travel, sports and similar bags" means goods, other
than those of subheadings 4202.11 through 4202.92,
of a kind designed for carrying clothing and other
personal effects during travel . . .
For classification purposes therefore, we regard the subject
merchandise as a "travel, sports or similar bag" of
Classification in heading 4202, HTSUSA, also requires
that the subject article be "of plastic sheeting, of textile
materials, . . . or be wholly or mainly covered with such
materials." The material used here is a plastics and textile
combination. The classification of plastics and textile
combinations is governed by the Legal Notes to the HTSUSA:
Legal Note 2(1) to Chapter 39, HTSUSA:
2. This chapter does not cover:
(l) Goods of section XI (textiles and textile
Legal Note 1(h) to Section XI - Textiles, HTSUSA:
1. This section does not cover:
(h) Woven, knitted or crocheted fabrics, felt or
nonwovens, impregnated, coated, covered or
laminated with plastics, or articles thereof,
of Chapter 39;
The effect of these provisions in the chapter and section
notes is to place within the scope of Chapter 39 those goods
which are considered plastics, as that Chapter defines
them,and to include those materials regarded as textile materials
in Section XI. In applying the notes, we find that the
component material is considered a textile material for
purposes of heading 4202, HTSUSA; specifically that this is a
textile material (printed cotton) which has been coated with
plastics (polyurethane), and that the textile is not present
merely for reinforcing purposes. This finding is based on the
language of Legal Note 2 to Chapter 59 (a part of Section XI),
2. Heading 5903 applies to:
(a) textile fabrics, impregnated, coated, covered
or laminated with plastics, whatever the weight
per square meter and whatever the nature of the
plastic material (compact or cellular), other
than: . . .
5. Plates, sheets or strip of cellular
plastics combined with textile
fabric,where the textile fabric is present merely
for reinforcing purposes.
Within heading 4202, HTSUSA, classification is based on
what type of material comprises the "outer surface" of the
goods. The Customs and Trade Act of 1990 (The 1990 Act) added
Additional U.S. Legal Note (2) to Chapter 42, HTSUSA, which
clarified how classification should be made under the "outer
surface" criteria. The 1990 Act, at Section 473, provides for
an Additional U.S. Note:
2. For the purposes of . . . 4202.92, articles if
textile fabric impregnated, coated, covered or laminated
with plastics (whether compact or cellular) shall be
regarded as having an outer surface of textile material
or of plastic sheeting, depending upon whether and the
extent to which the textile constituent or the plastic
constituent makes up the exterior surface of the article.
In other words, an article of subheading 4202.92,
HTSUSA,comprised of a plastics and textile combination which is
considered to be textile for classification purposes shall
have an outer surface of plastic sheeting if the plastic
constituent makes up the exterior surface of the article.
Such is the case here. Therefore, the bag at issue is made of
textile material and has an outer surface of plastic sheeting
as described in subheading 4202.92.4500, HTSUSA.
The sample submitted, your style number 999, described as
a "handbag" is classified in subheading 4202,92,4500, HTSUSA,
as a travel, sport or similar bag, of textile materials, with
outer surface of plastic sheeting. The applicable rate of
duty is 20 percent ad valorem. There is no textile visa
category associated with this classification.
John A. Durant
Commercial Rulings Division