CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 958552 GGD

Mr. Bernard D. Liberati
Morris Friedman & Co.
320 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106-3883

RE: Modification of Laredo District (now Port) Ruling Letter (DD) 804314; "Abaca Baskets with Handles;" Articles Made Directly to Shape from Plaiting Materials; Not Knotted Netting of Twine, Cordage or Rope

Dear Mr. Liberati:

This letter is in response to your request dated May 8, 1995, on behalf of your client, Don Wasserman, International, for reconsideration of DD 804314, issued December 14, 1994, concerning the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) of a pair of round abaca baskets with handles, imported from the Philippines. A sample was submitted with the request. In DD 804314, Customs classified the merchandise in subheading 5608.90.3000, HTSUSA, the provision for "Knotted netting of twine, cordage or rope; made up fishing nets and other made up nets, of textile materials: Other: Other: Other." We have reviewed that ruling and have found it to be partially in error. The correct classification is as follows.

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) -2-

(hereinafter section 625), notice of the proposed modification of DD 804314 was published on November 22, 1995, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 29, Number 47.


The samples (which, unlike the subjects of DD 804314, are heart-shaped), identified as "Abaca Baskets with Handles" and further identified by item no. DS-015, are 2 baskets with handles, measuring approximately 5 inches by 6 inches, and 6 inches by 7 inches, respectively. From the basket bottoms to the tops of the handles, the items measure 7 inches and 8-1/2 inches in height, respectively. The baskets' frames and handles are composed of unspun abaca fibers wrapped around wire. Within the basket frames is a net-like, openwork mesh, formed by unspun, untwisted abaca fibers.


Whether the baskets are classifiable in heading 5608, HTSUS, as knotted netting of twine, cordage or rope...other made up nets, of textile materials; or in heading 4602, HTSUS, as articles made from plaiting materials.


Classification under the HTSUS is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). 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 relative 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 may then be applied. The Explanatory Notes (EN) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, which represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, facilitate classification under the HTSUS by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRI.

Heading 5608, HTSUS, essentially covers knotted netting composed of materials that have been twisted, spun, braided, or otherwise woven together. As noted in the FACTS section, the goods are composed of wire and unspun, untwisted fibers. As such, the baskets are not classifiable as textile products of heading 5608. -3-

Heading 4602, HTSUS, provides for "Basketwork, wickerwork and other articles, made directly to shape from plaiting materials or made up from articles of heading 4601; articles of loofah." In pertinent part, note 1 to chapter 46, HTSUS, states that:

"[i]n this chapter the expression "plaiting materials" means materials in a state or form suitable for plaiting, interlacing or similar processes; it includes straw...strips of wood, strips of other vegetable material (for example, raffia, narrow leaves or strips cut from broad leaves) or bark, unspun [emphasis added] natural textile fibers....

Although each basket is constructed from both wire and abaca, the essential character of the whole is clearly imparted by the unspun, untwisted, natural textile fibers, not the wire. We find that the articles are classified in heading 4602, HTSUS. The proper subheading is 4602.10.1800, HTSUSA.


The "Abaca Baskets with Handles" (item no. DS-015) are properly classified in subheading 4602.10.1800, HTSUSA, the provision for "Basketwork, wickerwork and other articles, made directly to shape from plaiting materials or made up from articles of heading 4601; articles of loofah: Of vegetable materials: Other baskets and bags, whether or not lined: Other: Other." The applicable duty rate is 4.5 percent ad valorem.

DD 804314, issued December 14, 1994, is hereby modified. In accordance with section 625, this ruling will become effective 60 days from its publication in the Customs Bulletin. Publication of rulings or decisions pursuant to section 625 does not constitute a change of practice or position in accordance with section 177.10(c)(1), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.10(c)(1)).


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification
Appeals Division