CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 953610 ch
Harper Robinson & Co.
P.O. Box 81380
Cleveland, Ohio 44181
RE: Classification of jewelry boxes; presentation cases;
covered with paper and man-made fibers; hinged boxes
Dear Ms. Hudyka:
This is in response to your letters of December 21, 1992,
and February 2, 1993, requesting tariff classification under the
Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated
(HTSUSA) for four styles of hinged jewelry presentation boxes.
Samples were provided to our office for examination and will be
returned under separate cover. Please reference your client,
The subject merchandise are four styles of hinged jewelry
presentation boxes. The first style consists of a rigid plastic
base over which a flocked nylon material has been blown.
The second sample features a flocked synthetic material that
has been sprayed onto a textile backing. The material and
backing are wrapped around a metal base.
The third box consists of a nylon material that is flocked
onto a textile backing and wrapped around a plastic box.
The final sample is composed of a leatherette plastic coated
paper with a caliper of approximately .006 inches wrapped over a
Each box contains a textile covered insert fitted to hold
various items of jewelry.
What are the proper tariff classifications for the subject
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the
General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that
classification is determined first in accordance with the terms
of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter
notes. Where goods cannot be classified on the basis of GRI 1,
the remaining GRI will be applied in order.
Heading 4202, HTSUSA, provides for:
Trunks, Suit-Cases, Vanity-Cases, Executive-Cases,
Briefcases, School Satchels, Spectacle Cases, Binocular
Cases, Camera Cases, Musical Instrument Cases, Gun
Cases, Holsters and Similar Containers; Travelling-
Bags, Toilet Bags, Rucksacks, Handbags, Shopping-Bags,
Wallets, Purses, Map-Cases, Cigarette-Cases, Tobacco-
Pouches, Tool Bags, Sports Bags, Bottle-Cases,
Jewellery Boxes, Powder-Boxes, Cutlery Cases and
Similar Containers, of Leather or of Composition
Leather, of Sheeting of Plastics, of Textile Materials,
of Vulcanised Fibre or of Paperboard, or Wholly or
Mainly Covered with Such Materials or With Paper.
Thus, jewelry boxes covered with textile materials or paper are
classified under heading 4202.
The Explanatory Notes (EN) to the Harmonized Commodity
Description and Coding System constitute the official
interpretation of the nomenclature at the international level.
While not legally binding, they do represent the considered views
of classification experts of the Harmonized System Committee. It
has therefore been the practice of the Customs Service to follow,
whenever possible, the terms of the EN when interpreting the
In April, 1988, the United States formally raised the issue
of the scope of the term "jewellery boxes" with the Harmonized
System Committee (HSC). Ultimately, the HSC amended the EN to
heading 4202 so as to clarify the meaning of this term. This
amendment became effective on January 1, 1990, and reads as
The term "jewellery boxes" covers not only boxes
specially designed for keeping jewellery, but also
similar lidded containers of various dimensions (with
or without hinges or fasteners) specially shaped or
fitted to contain one or more pieces of jewellery and
normally lined with textile material, of the type in
which articles of jewellery are presented and sold and
which are suitable for long-term use.
This language makes it clear that containers used in the
presentation and sale of jewelry that are suitable for long-term
use are included in the term "jewellery boxes." Based on our
examination of the instant articles, we conclude that they all
are used for the presentation and sale of jewelry. In addition,
the subject plastic and metal framed cases are suitable for long
term use, as they are suitable for use after sale to store and
protect their contents. Accordingly, the submitted samples are
classifiable under heading 4202.
You have submitted copies of New York Ruling Letter (NYRL)
843812, dated August 1, 1989, and NYRL 837714, dated March 1,
1989, with your binding ruling request. In those rulings,
plastic jewelry boxes covered with textile materials were
classified under Chapter 39, HTSUSA, as articles of plastics.
However, these decisions were issued prior to the amendment to
the EN cited above and do not reflect the current interpretation
of the term "jewelry boxes." Accordingly, they do not operate as
precedent in this instance and have been revoked.
The jewelry presentation boxes with outer surfaces of nylon
or synthetic textile materials are classifiable under subheading
4202.92.9020, HTSUSA, which provides for jewelry boxes: other:
with outer surface of plastic sheeting or of textile materials:
other: other, with outer surface of textile materials: other:
of man-made fibers. The applicable rate of duty is 20 percent ad
valorem. The textile quota category is 670.
The jewelry presentation box with outer surface of paper is
classifiable under subheading 4202.99.1000, HTSUSA, which
provides for jewelry boxes: other: of materials (other than
leather, composition leather, sheeting of plastics, textile
materials, vulcanized fiber or paperboard) wholly or mainly
covered with paper: of plastics. The applicable rate of duty is
3.4 percent ad valorem.
The designated textile and apparel category may be
subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota requirements
applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected. Since
part categories are the result of international bilateral
agreements which are the subject of frequent negotiations and
changes, to obtain the most current information available, we
suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the Status
Report on Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an issuance
of the U.S. Customs Service, which is updated weekly and is
available at the local Customs office.
Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation
(the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the
restraint (quota/visa) categories, you should contact the local
Customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine
the current status of any import restraints or requirements.
John Durant, Director