CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 087280 CB

Mr. Brian Derham
W.G. Carroll & Co., Inc.
168-01 Rockway Boulevard
Suite 200
Jamaica, New York 11430

RE: Modification of HQ 086610 issued March 16, 1990

Dear Mr. Derham:

On March 16, 1990, a classification ruling was issued (HQ 086610) classifying certain ponchos with carrying bags. Upon further consideration, that ruling is determined to be in error.


A description of the goods was set forth in HQ 086610 and is incorporated by reference herein. That ruling determined that the carrying bags sold with the ponchos were not classifiable with the garment under General Rule of Interpretation 5, because the bags were not specially shaped or fitted to contain the ponchos and are suitable for repetitive use.


Whether the carrying bags are classifiable separately under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated?


Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) 1 through 6. The systematic detail of the HTSUSA 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 relevant 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's may be applied, taken in order.


GRI 5(a) provides that containers specially shaped or fitted to contain specific articles, suitable for long-term use and entered with the articles, shall be classified with such articles when of a kind normally sold therewith. In addition, pursuant to GRI 5(b), packing materials and packing containers are also classified with the goods. However, the provision does not apply if the packing materials and packing containers are clearly suitable for repetitive use. For the purposes of GRI 5(b), the term "repetitive use" is interpreted to mean use with goods of the kind presented in the packing container. It is Customs position that the subject carrying bag does not meet the requirements of either GRI 5(a) or (b). The carrying bag is not specially shaped or fitted to contain the poncho and is suitable for repetitive use.

On considering whether the garment and carrying bag constitute composite goods under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule, we note the following criteria set forth under paragraph (IX) of Rule 3(b) of the Explanatory Notes:

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 inseperable 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.

It is our view that the poncho and bag do qualify as composite goods as that term is defined and applied in the HTSUSA. GRI 3(b) provides that composite goods shall be classified as if they consisted of the component which gives them their essential character. In the instant case, the ponchos are classifiable in heading 6202, HTSUSA, and the carrying bags are classifiable in heading 4202, HTSUSA. With respect to the subject goods, the ponchos impart the essential character. Therefore, both the ponchos and carrying bags are classifiable in subheading 6202.13.4020, HTSUSA.


The ponchos and carrying bags are classifiable in subheading 6202.13.4020, HTSUSA, which provides for women's or girls' overcoats, carcoats, capes, cloaks and similar coats, of man-made fibers, other, other, women's. The rate of duty is 29.5 percent ad valorem and the textile category is 635.


Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the tariff number) 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.

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 subject to frequent renegotiations 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 your local Customs office.

HQ 086610 is modified accordingly pursuant to 19 CFR 177.9(d). This notice is not to be applied retroactively to HQ 086610 (19 CFR 177.9(d)(2)(1989)) and will not, therefore, affect the transaction for the importation of your merchandise under that ruling. However, for the purposes of future transactions in merchandise of this type, HQ 086610 will not be valid precent. We recognize that pending transactions may be adversely affected by this modification, in that current contracts for importations arriving at a port subsequent to the release of HQ 086610 will be classified under the new ruling. If such a situation arises, you may, at your discretion, notify this office and apply for relief from the binding effects of the new ruling as may be dictated by the circumstances.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division