CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 957116 ch
John A. Slagle
Director, Customs Laws & Regulations
Wolf D. Barth & Co., Inc.
7575 Holstein Avenue
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19153
Re: Modification of NYRL 882874; tariff classification of a
nylon bag for a beach blanket; GRI 5(a); of a kind
normally sold therewith; GRI 3(b); composite goods.
Dear Mr. Slagle:
In New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 882874, dated March 8,
1993, you were advised that a beach blanket and a nylon bag were
classified together in subheading 6307.90.9986, Harmonized Tariff
Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for other
made up textile articles. We have had occasion to review NYRL
882874 and find that the classification of the nylon bag was in
Pursuant to section 625, Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C.
1625), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs
Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement
Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993)
(hereinafter section 625), notice of the proposed revocation of
NYRL 882874 was published on January 18, 1995, in the Customs
Bulletin, Volume 29, Number 3. Two comments were filed in
response to the notice.
The submitted sample is described as a "Beach Blanket." The
article measures approximately 80 inches by 44 inches and
features a surface layer of 100 percent cotton terry cloth; and a
bottom layer of 100 percent cotton twill fabric. A round patch
with hook and loop fasteners has been sewn onto each corner, so
that individual blankets may be attached to one another. The
corners are waterproof and contain galvanized steel disks. The
item features a pocket, secured by hook and loop fasteners, which
contains a plastic inflatable pillow.
An accompanying nylon bag may be used to hold the "Beach
Blanket." It measures approximately 24 inches in length by 15
inches in width and is composed of woven nylon. The bag features
a drawstring closure, plastic hardware and a polypropylene handle
and shoulder strap. A pocket secured by hook and loop fasteners,
and measuring approximately 9 inches by 7 1/2 inches, has been
sewn to the front of the bag.
Accompanying marketing materials describe the bag as a
"Back-pack Tote Bag
-- constructed of heavy duty waterproof nylon." In addition, a
hangtag affixed to the bag states:
IT'S IN THE BAG!
The original Rolle Bag makes carrying the blanket and other
beach supplies a breeze. Features multiple position strap
(converts to back pack, fanny bag, shoulder bag, etc.),
interior key hook, wet/dry pocket and more.
What is the proper tariff classification for the carrying
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
In NYRL 882874, the "Beach Blanket" was classified in
heading 6307, HTSUS, which provides for other made up textile
articles. The bag was classified in the same heading on the
basis of General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 5(a), which
Camera cases, musical instrument cases, gun cases, drawing
instrument cases, necklace cases and similar containers,
specially shaped or fitted to contain a specific article or
set of articles, suitable for long-term use and entered with
the articles for which they are intended, shall be
classified with such articles when of a kind normally sold
therewith. This rule does not, however, apply to containers
which give the whole its essential character.
We concluded that the nylon bag met the requirements of GRI 5(a).
Accordingly, the bag was classified with the blanket.
The Explanatory Note (EN) to GRI 5(a) provides that:
(I) This Rule shall be taken to cover only those containers
(1) are specially shaped or fitted to contain a
specific article or set of articles, i.e., they are
designed specifically to accommodate the article for
which they are intended. Some containers are shaped in
the form of the article which they contain;
(2) are suitable for long-term use, i.e., they are
designed to have a durability comparable to that of the
articles for which they are intended. These containers
also serve to protect the article when not in use
(during transport or storage, for example). These
criteria enable them to be distinguished from simple
(3) are presented with the articles for which they are
intended, whether or not the articles are packed
separately for convenience of transport. Presented
separately the containers are classified in their
(4) are of a kind normally sold with such articles; and
(5) do not give the whole its essential character.
In order for the nylon bag to be classified with the blanket, it
must meet the criteria set forth above. The criteria limit the
scope of GRI 5(a) to containers which would normally be discarded
or have no use without their contents.
In NYRL 882874, we erroneously concluded that the bag was
classifiable with the blanket pursuant to GRI 5(a). The bag does
not possess internal fittings, nor is it shaped to the form of
its contents. Consequently, it is susceptible to uses other than
to hold the beach blanket. In this regard, we note that the bag
resembles a duffel bag and is marketed for use as a back pack,
fanny bag or shoulder bag. Similar bags are the subject of
trade in the United States when sold separately and are marketed
as general purpose carrying bags. Thus, the bag is desirable in
and of itself and may be used without the blanket. Evidence that
the instant item may be used in this fashion includes the fact
that it is advertised as a container for "carrying the blanket
and other beach supplies." The alternative use of the article as
a general purpose travel bag may induce the consumer to purchase
its contents and will enhance the value of the merchandise as a
whole. For these reasons, the bag is not "of a kind normally
sold with" its contents and cannot be classified with the beach
You have submitted a copy of the U.S. Patent awarded to the
beach blanket, which indicates that the blanket will be used in
conjunction with a carrying bag incorporating preferred physical
attributes. Preferred specifications for the bag include a
drawstring closure, waterproof material, carry strap, and a
pocket secured by means of hook and loop fasteners. In addition,
the bag must be of a size suitable for holding the blanket in its
folded position. By way of analogy, the extraneous carrying
capacity of the bag has been equated with additional room in a
gun case for ammunition; or an additional compartment in a guitar
case for strings. In light of these considerations, you contend
that the bag has been designed to specifically accommodate its
contents and should be classified with the blanket.
While we agree that the bag is suitable for use with the
blanket, we reiterate that it resembles duffel or travel bags
which are the subject of trade as general purpose carrying
containers. The preferred physical characteristics for the bag
are relatively generic and are not so restrictive that the bag is
limited for use with the blanket. The bag is just as suitable
for carrying or storing clothing and other personal effects as it
is for transporting and protecting the beach blanket. On the
other hand, musical instrument or gun cases shaped to the form of
their contents would be unsuitable for use as travel or tote
bags, despite the presence of compartments for ammunition or
strings. Hence, they would be discarded without their contents
or would be sold solely for use with a particular article such as
a gun or a guitar. Consequently, for the purposes of this
discussion, the gun and musical instrument cases are designed to
specifically accommodate their contents. However, the bag for
the blanket does not meet this description.
GRI 3(b) states:
Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials
or made up of different components, which cannot be
classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if
they consisted of the material or component which gives them
their essential character (emphasis added).
On occasion, we have determined that a carrying bag and its
contents may be classified as composite good, with the essential
character imparted by the contents. See Headquarters Ruling
Letter (HRL) 955787, dated April 26, 1994 (carrying bag
classified with boxer shorts); HRL 087280, dated July 16, 1990
(carrying bag classified with ponchos); HRL 086343, dated July
13, 1990 (carrying bag classified with windbreaker); HRL 086344,
dated July 5, 1990 (carrying bag classified with coveralls).
Thus, GRI 3(b) provides an alternative basis by which a carrying
bag may be classified with its contents.
The EN to GRI 3(b) provides in pertinent part that:
For the purposes of this Rule, composite goods made up of
different components shall be taken to mean not only those
in which the components are attached to each other to form a
practically inseparable whole but also those with separable
components, provided these components are adapted one to the
other and are mutually complementary and that together they
form a whole which would not normally be offered for sale in
separate parts (emphasis added).
In this instance, the nylon bag is in the nature of a tote,
duffel or shoulder bag for carrying various personal effects. It
is of a durable construction and, as discussed above, would
normally be sold as an independent product in its own right.
Consequently, in this instance the carrying bag and the blanket
do not comprise a composite article.
As the nylon bag cannot be classified with the blanket, it
must be classified under the heading which most specifically
describes it. Therefore, it is classifiable in heading 4202,
HTSUS, which provides in pertinent part for travel, sports and
NYRL 882874 is hereby modified . The "Beach Blanket" is
classifiable in subheading 6307.90.9989, HTSUS, which provides
for other made up textile articles. The applicable rate of duty
is 7 percent ad valorem.
The nylon bag is classifiable in subheading 4202.92.3030,
HTSUS, which provides for travel, sports and similar bags, with
outer surface of textile materials: other, other: of man-made
fibers: other. The applicable rate of duty is 19.8 percent ad
valorem. The textile category is 670.
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 status of any import restraints or requirements.
In accordance with section 625, this ruling will become
effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin. Publication of rulings or
decision pursuant to section 625 does not constitute a change of
practice of position in accordance with section 177.10(c)(1),
Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.10(c)(1)).
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division