CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 953610 ch

Diane Hudyka
Branch Manager
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, Boxit Corporation.


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 plastic box.

Each box contains a textile covered insert fitted to hold various items of jewelry.


What are the proper tariff classifications for the subject merchandise?


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. (Emphasis added).

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 HTSUSA.

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 follows:

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