CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 963598 TMF
Mr. Jim Wickstead, Senior Consultant
PBB Global Logistics
434 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, New York 14202
RE: Modification of NY D88516; Ultimate Auto Safety Kit; emergency roadside automobile kits
Dear Mr. Wickstead:
In New York Ruling Letter (NY) D88516, dated March 31, 1999, issued to you on behalf of your client, Micris One, Inc., you were advised that the nylon bag which contained the items of the Ultimate Auto Safety Kit, was classified with its contents as a container described in GRI 5(a), and its value prorated over the contents. We have reviewed NY D88516 and have found it to be in error. Therefore, this ruling modifies NY D88516.
Pursuant to section 625(c), Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)), notice of the proposed revocation of NY D88516 was published on June 5, 2002, in the CUSTOMS BULLETIN, Volume 36, Number 23. One comment was received in response to the notice.
The article in question is the small black bag component of the Ultimate Auto Safety Kit. The bag was made in China. In NY D88516, dated March 31, 1999, the bag is described initially as a PVC bag. However, the ruling noted that the cardboard packaging listed the bag component’s composition as being of nylon fabric. The bag has a rectangular shape and measures 10.5 inches by 6 inches by 4.5 inches. It has a zippered opening along three sides and a fabric-carrying handle. The bag has only one main interior compartment.
The bag is made to store and carry the contents of the Ultimate Auto Safety Kit, an emergency roadside automobile kit, which includes: two 10 inch by 6 inch foam pads; a flashlight; two batteries (D size, 1.5 volt); a first aid kit; an emergency heat-reflective blanket; candles; matches; an “SOS” banner; an emergency rain poncho; a safety vest; a pair of polycotton knit gloves; aerosol tire sealant; a flare; a shop cloth; and booster cables.
In NY D88516, Customs classified the nylon bag component of the Ultimate Auto Safety Kit pursuant to GRI 5(a), with its contents (which were found not to comprise a set) and its value was prorated over the contents.
Whether the nylon bag component of the Ultimate Auto Safety Kit is classified pursuant to GRI 5(a) Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA)?
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
The classification of the bag components of emergency roadside automobile kits was addressed previously in HQ 964937, dated March 19, 2002 and HQ 965021, dated March 19, 2002. In both rulings, the bag components were described as soft-sided plastic, reinforced, zippered bags with straps. Customs determined that the kits were not sets pursuant to GRI 3(b) and classified the bag components individually in subheading 4202.92.90, HTSUSA.
The instant bag component is made of sturdy nylon fabric, and has straps, zippers, and one main compartment to contain emergency roadside assistance articles. The bag is substantially similar in function to the merchandise addressed in the aforementioned rulings and is classified accordingly in subheading 4202.92.9026, HTSUSA.
Although certain containers may be classified with the articles they are designed to hold, we do not find the instant bag to be a container pursuant to GRI 5(a), HTSUSA, which states:
Camera cases, musical instruments, gun cases, drawing instrument cases, necklace cases and similar containers, specifically 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.
The intent of the language of GRI 5(a) and the ENs to GRI 5(a) is that a container is specifically shaped or fitted for, in this case, the contents it holds.” The nylon bag contains one main compartment which is not specially shaped or fitted to hold its contents. Thus, the instant bag does not satisfy the requirements of GRI 5(a), and it is separately classified from its contents pursuant to GRI 1.
In your comment, you requested that we provide a delayed effective date of this modification. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide an exception to the sixty-day effective date as provided within 19 U.S.C. 1625(c), which reads, in relevant part:
A proposed interpretive ruling or decision which would-
modify (other than to correct a clerical error) or revoke a prior interpretive ruling or decision which has been in effect for at least 60 days; or
have the effect of modifying the treatment previously accorded by the Customs Service to substantially identical transactions;
shall be published in the Customs Bulletin…The final ruling or decision shall become effective 60 days after the date of its publication.
Thus, under 19 U.S.C. 1625(c) the delayed effective date of the change in classification of the container components of emergency roadside automobile kits will be sixty days from publication within the CUSTOMS BULLETIN.
NY D88516, dated March 31, 1999, is hereby modified. In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625(c), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the CUSTOMS BULLETIN.
The nylon bag component of the Ultimate Auto Safety is classified in subheading 4202.92.9026, HTSUSA, textile category 670, which provides for: “Trunks, suitcases, vanity cases, attaché cases, briefcases, school satchels, spectacle cases, binocular cases, camera cases, musical instrument cases, gun cases, holsters and similar containers; traveling bags, insulated food or beverage 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 leather or of composition leather, of sheeting of plastics, of textile materials, of vulcanized fiber, or of paperboard, or wholly or mainly covered with such materials or with paper: Other: With outer surface of sheeting of plastic or of textile materials: Other: Other, With outer surface of textile materials: Other: Of man-made fibers.” The general column one duty rate is 18.1 percent ad valorem. There are no applicable quota/visa requirements for the products of World Trade Organization (“WTO”) members. The textile category number above applies to merchandise produced in non-WTO countries.
The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, the visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected. Since part categories are the result of international bilateral agreements which are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes, to obtain the most current information available, we suggest you check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report On Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an internal issuance of the U.S. Customs Service which is updated weekly and is available for inspection at your local Customs office. The Status Report on Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels) is also available on the Customs Electronic Bulletin Board (CEBB) which can be found on the U.S. Customs Service Website at www.customs.gov.
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 your local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.
Myles B. Harmon, Acting Director
Commercial Rulings Division