CLA-2 OT:RR:CTF:TCM H018503 ASM
Bed Bath & Beyond
650 Liberty Ave.
Union, NJ 07083
RE: Classification of Collapsible Cooler
Dear Ms. Bonadonna:
This is in response to your request of September 6, 2007, for a binding ruling made on behalf of your company, Bed Bath & Beyond, regarding the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) of a collapsible hard cooler. A sample has been received by Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
This ruling request concerns the classification of a 66 quart capacity Collapsible Cooler, Vendor Style BG-2529, which measures 25 inches (length) x 11 inches (width) x 15 inches (height). The sample has a woven polyester textile outer surface and an inside lining made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic material. In order to make the sides rigid, there is a layer of wood between the polyester surface and the PVC lining in each of the two longest opposing sides of the cooler. The wood layer is sandwiched between two layers of foam plastic (polyethylene). Although the foam plastic and the wood are not attached to each other, they are held in place by a thin layer of non-woven textile material that surrounds these materials. The two opposing shorter sides of the cooler are collapsible because there are no wood or foam plastic layers in between the outer polyester surface and the PVC lining.
The cooler also has a flat insert, which has an outer surface made of the same PVC material that forms the inside lining of the cooler. This PVC material completely surrounds three consecutive rectangular layers of wood, situated end to end, with seven-eighths of an inch of space between the end of one layer of wood and that of the next layer. Each of the wood layers used to construct the insert is sandwiched between two layers of foam plastic. A PVC outer surface covers both sides of the insert. When in use, the insert is placed in the cooler so that the middle wood layer covers the interior bottom of the cooler and the outer two wood layers cover the interior of the short sides of the cooler.
The subject article has the capacity to hold 108 twelve ounce cans. The top flap of the cooler has a woven polyester textile outer surface and an inside lining made of PVC. In between these two layers is a piece of wood sandwiched by two layers of foam plastic. The wood and foam plastic are not attached to each other but are held in place by the woven polyester outer surface and the PVC lining of the top flap, which is sewn along all four edges. The top flap closes the main compartment of the cooler by means of two zippers that meet along the same track. The cooler has two carry handles, one each on the outer surface of the two opposing shorter sides.
On behalf of your company, you have asserted that the cooler should be classified in subheading 6307.90.9889, HTSUSA, which provides for “Other made up articles, including dress patterns: Other: Other: Other, Other: Other”.
What is the proper classification of the merchandise under the HTSUSA?
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods shall be determined 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 heading and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI may then be applied. The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (“ENs”) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. While neither legally binding nor dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).
The HTSUSA was amended, effective 2002, to include provisions for insulated food or beverage bags. The changes consisted of adding “insulated food or beverage bags” to the second part of heading 4202, and by adding subheading 4202.92.05 (4202.92.08 in the 2008 HTSUSA), which provides for bags with an outer surface of textile materials, and subheading 4202.92.10, which provides for bags with an outer surface of other materials. Specifically, heading 4202, HTSUSA, provides eo nomine (by name) for the classification of:
Trunks, suitcases, vanity cases, attache 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. (Emphasis added).
The ENs were also modified to reflect the changes to heading 4202 by adding a new eighth paragraph to the EN for heading 4202. The new paragraph states: “The expression ‘insulated food or beverage bags’ covers reusable insulated bags used to maintain the temperature of foods and beverages during transport or temporary storage." We further note that the ENs to 4202 specify that the articles covered by the second part of the heading, which includes “insulated food or beverage bags”, must be of the materials specified in the heading or must be wholly or mainly covered with these materials, i.e., sheeting of plastics, textile materials, etc. In addition, the ENs to 4202 specifically provide that such containers may have a foundation of wood, metal, etc.
It is clear that the subject collapsible cooler, which has an exterior that is entirely covered in woven polyester fabric, is intended to be a reusable insulated container designed to maintain the temperature of foods and beverages during transport or temporary storage. The fact that the cooler is collapsible suggests that it has been designed for use during transport and as a temporary means of storage. Furthermore, we note that the ENs to 4202 specifically include those containers which have an interior foundation of wood, as long as the exterior of the container is wholly or mainly covered with textile materials (or sheeting of plastics, etc.), which is the case with the subject cooler. Finally, we note that in its condition as imported, the cooler is fully collapsible so that it can lay flat within the cardboard sleeve, rendering the two flexible short sides and bottom panel capable of being folded inward. The flexible materials used to make the subject cooler, along with its portability, are features commonly seen in insulated cooler bags.
Consequently, we find that the subject container shares the essential characteristics, as well as the specific and primary purpose of “insulated food or beverage bags” of heading 4202, HTSUSA. Therefore, the collapsible cooler is classified, eo nomine, in heading 4202, HTSUSA. This decision is supported by New York Ruling Letter (NY) J82181, dated March 17, 2003, wherein CBP classified
a collapsible insulated cooler bag on wheels with zippered storage pocket and a cell phone pocket, measuring approximately 14 inches (width) x 13 inches (height) x 10 inches (diameter), having an outer material of polyester fabric, in the provision for insulated food or beverage bags under subheading 4202.92.0507, HTSUSA.
Since the subject cooler is specifically provided for in heading 4202, HTSUSA,
the article cannot be classified in your proposed classification for this merchandise, i.e., the residual provision for other made up articles in subheading 6307.90.9889, HTSUSA.
It is the conclusion of CBP, based on the above discussion, that the subject
collapsible cooler, with an exterior surface of woven textile polyester fabric, is provided for, eo nomine, as an “insulated food or beverage bag” in heading 4202, HTSUSA.
The subject merchandise, identified as a Collapsible Cooler, Vendor Style BG-2529, is correctly classified in subheading 4202.92.0807, HTSUSA, which provides for “Trunks, suitcases, vanity cases, attache 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: Insulated food or beverage bags: With outer surface of textile materials: Other, Of man-made fibers”. The general column one duty rate is 7 percent ad valorem. The textile category is 670.
Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUSA and the accompanying duty rates are provided on the world wide web at www.usitc.gov. With the exception of certain products of China, quota/visa requirements are no longer applicable for merchandise which is the product of World Trade Organization (WTO) member countries. The textile category number above applies to merchandise produced in non-WTO member-countries. Quota and visa requirements are the result of international agreements that are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes. To obtain the most current information on quota and visa requirements applicable to this merchandise, we suggest you check, close to the time of shipment, the "Textile Status Report for Absolute Quotas" which is available on our web site at www.cbp.gov. For current information regarding possible textile safeguard actions on goods from China and related issues, we refer you to the web site of the Office of Textiles and Apparel of the Department of Commerce at otexa.ita.doc.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 the local CBP office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.
Gail A. Hamill, Chief
Tariff Classification and Marking Branch