CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 961434 JGB

Louis Shoichet, Esq.
Tompkins & Davidson
1515 Broadway
New York, New York 10036-8901

RE: Water Bottle With Nylon Carrier, Style 151280, Avon Products

Dear Mr. Shoichet:

This is in response to the request of May 7, 1997, to the Customs National Commodity Specialists Division, New York, on behalf of Avon Products, Inc., concerning the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) of a plastic water bottle imported and sold within a fitted, carrier bag. The article is expected to be manufactured in China and/or Taiwan. A sample was submitted with your request. The letter was referred to this office for reply. We regret the delay.


The merchandise is described as a cylindrical-shaped, plastic water bottle imported and sold within a fitted, carrier bag. The bottle measures approximately 7-1/4 inches in height by approximately 2-1/2 inches in diameter, is constructed of plastic, and features a detachable lid with an extendable valve for drinking. The fitted bag is constructed of a 100 percent nylon exterior surface with a 100 percent polyurethane interior lining, features a “flap” closure with hook and loop fastener, and circular opening for accommodating and securing the bottle. The carrier bag features a webbed textile adjustable shoulder strap.


Whether the bottle with nylon carrier is classified under heading 3923, HTSUS, as plastic articles for the conveyance or packing of goods, under heading 3926, HTSUS, as other articles of plastics, or under heading 4202, HTSUS, as bottle cases or similar containers of textile materials.


Classification under the HTSUS 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 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.

The articles consist of two components which together provide a user convenient access to liquids, but which, if imported separately, would be classifiable under separate headings, i.e., heading 4202, HTSUS, and one of the headings under chapter 39, HTSUS. Therefore, the articles are not described by a single heading. Under the provisions of GRI 2, “the classification of goods consisting of more than one material or substance shall be according to the principles of rule 3.” GRI 3 provides, in pertinent part, “When, by application of rule 2(b) or for any other reason, goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, classification shall be effected as follows:...when two or more headings each refer to part only of the materials or substances contained in mixed or composite goods ... those headings are to be regarded as equally specific in relation to those goods, even if one of them gives a more complete or precise description of the goods.” GRI 3(b) provides that “... composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.”

The EN to GRI 3(b) at paragraph (VIII) lists, as factors to help determine the essential character of such goods, the nature of the materials or components, their bulk, quantity, weight or value, and the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods. In this instance, the plastic bottle is the primary component of the composite good which permits it to perform its primary function of carrying and dispensing potable water, while the nylon carrier serves a secondary function of facilitating convenient carrying of the article. The function of the two components together is to keep liquids easily available to the user. The carrier in this instance adds to the convenience of the main article. Because the bottle component supplies the essential character of the good, the classification of the bottle will govern the classification of the whole good.

Since the component which contains and supplies the liquid is an article of plastics, we look to chapter 39, HTSUS, which covers “plastics and articles thereof.”

If heading 3923, HTSUS, is inapplicable, the residual provision, heading 3926, HTSUS, other articles of plastics, would apply. Within heading 3923, subheading 3923.30.00, HTSUS, provides for “Carboys, bottles, flasks and similar articles.” In HQ 952264, issued November 25, 1992, we concluded that the bottles classified in that subheading “are bottles such as beverage bottles which are designed to be filled and sold to the ultimate consumer with a beverage therein. They are not containers to be filled by the end user.” This determination was based on our consideration of EN 39.23, which states that the heading “covers all articles of plastics commonly used for the packing or conveyance of all kinds of products.” The reference to products carries the meaning of commercial products which would not be used with the bottle under consideration here. If the bottle were used to sell shampoo or bleach, it might qualify for classification in heading 3923; however, inasmuch as it is expected to be used to hold a product of the user’s personal choice, it is precluded from classification here. See, e.g., HQ 955047, issued October 6, 1994.

Within heading 3926, HTSUS, the specific subheading is 3926.90.9880, the provision for “Other articles of plastics and articles of other materials of heading 3901 to 3914: Other: Other: Other.” HOLDING:

The plastic bottle with nylon carrier, style 151280, is classifiable in subheading 3926.90.9880, HTSUS, the provision for “Other articles of plastics and articles of other materials of heading 3901 to 3914: Other: Other: Other.”


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division