Ms. Lucy Paola Ardila-Riley
104 Via Azurra
Jupiter, FL 33458
RE: The tariff classification of handbags, imitation jewelry and a hat from Colombia
Dear Ms. Ardila-Riley:
In your letter dated July 1, 2010, you requested a tariff classification ruling.
The ruling was requested on various handcrafted articles. The articles include three handbags, one hat and two bracelets. You submitted samples of each item for our examination which will be returned to you as requested. The handcrafted items are made from Cana Flecha (Gynerium Sagitatum.) Cana Flecha is a type of cane and a member of the grass family.
Item 1 is a handbag composed of plaits of natural and colored narrow grass leaves that have been sewn together one on top of the other to form the outside shell of the bag. The handbag has a rectangular shape, two cut-out handles and a zipper closing. It has a lined main compartment with an interior pocket which extends from end to end on one sidewall. It measures approximately 10 ½” (w) x 2” (d) x 8” (h).
Item 2 is a handbag composed of plaits of natural and colored narrow grass leaves that have been sewn together one on top of the other to form the outside shell of the bag. The handbag has a cylindrical basket style, two wooden carry handles, a top zipper closing and a tab loop. It has a lined main compartment with a small open pocket on one sidewall. It measures approximately 11” (w) x ¾” (d) x 11 ½” (h).
Chapter Note 1 of Chapter 46, HTSUS, states as follows: In this chapter the expression "plaiting materials" means materials in a state or form suitable for plaiting, interlacing or similar processes; it includes straw, osier or willow, bamboos, rattans, rushes, reeds, strips of wood, strips of other vegetable material (for example, strips of bark, narrow leaves and raffia or other strips obtained from broad leaves), unspun natural textile fibers, monofilament and strip and the like of plastics and strips of paper, but not strips of leather or composition leather or of felt or nonwovens, human hair, horsehair, textile rovings or yarns, or monofilament and strip and the like of chapter 54. (Emphasis added.)
The construction and the composition of the handbags meet the definition of “plaiting material” as stated in Note 1 of Chapter 46, HTSUS.
Item 3 is a handbag constructed with an outer surface of 100% acrylic textile material. It is designed and sized to contain the small personal effects normally carried on a daily basis. It has a textile-lined main compartment with an open pocket on each sidewall. The bag has a zipper closure at the top and a single shoulder strap. It measures approximately 11.5” (W) x 9” (H) x 4” (D).
Item 4 is a hat handcrafted from 100% Cana Flecha (Gynerium Sagitatum a type of cane and member of the grass family). You state in your letter the braided, grass-like pieces are sewn together to create the hat.
Item 5 is imitation jewelry handcrafted from Cana Flecha (Gynerium Sagittatum, a type of cane and member of the grass family). The jewelry pieces are identified as a Cana Flecha Cuff and a Cana Flecha Bracelet. The items are handcrafted by using a technique of braiding the plaiting material around a PVC strip, polyvinyl chloride, to create different weaves on each piece.
Chapter 71 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) for jewelry, specifically imitation jewelry, has no exclusion for articles made directly to shape from plaiting materials of Subheading 4602 or 4601, HTSUS. Chapter 46 of the HTSUS contains no legal notes to classify hand crafted bracelet and hand crafted cuffs made from plaiting material within its provisions. Both the hand crafted bracelet and hand crafted cuffs made from Cana Flecha (Gynerium Sagittatum a type of cane – is a member of the grass family), meet the definition for articles of jewelry, as provided for in Chapter 71, Legal Note 9 and 11, to the HTSUS. With case in point, we disagree with your suggested classification of 4602.19.1400 for the bracelet and 7117.11.0000 for the cuff. Further the cuff is not a cuff link or stud of base metal.
As such, classification of Item 5, (both the bracelet and cuff made from plaiting material), is classifiable in heading 7117, HTSUS.
The applicable subheading for Items 1 and 2, the handbags made of plaited material, will be 4602. 19.2920, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for basketwork, wickerwork and other articles, made directly to shape from plaiting materials or made up from articles of heading 4601: Of vegetable materials: Other (than of bamboo or rattan): Luggage, handbags and flatgoods, whether or not lined: Other (than of willow or of palm leaf): Handbags. The rate of duty will be 5.3 percent ad valorem.
The applicable subheading for Item 3, the handbag made of textile, will be 4202.22.8050, (HTSUS), which provides for handbags, whether or not with shoulder strap, including those without handles, with outer surface of textile materials, other, other, other, of man-made textile materials. The rate of duty will be 17.6 percent ad valorem.
The applicable subheading for Item 4, the hat, will be 6504.00.3000, (HTSUS), which provides for hats and other headgear, plaited or made by assembling strips of any material, whether or not lined or trimmed: of vegetable fibers, of unspun fibrous vegetable materials, of paper yarn or of any combination thereof: sewed. The rate of duty will be 6 percent ad valorem.
The applicable subheading for Item 5, the bracelet and cuff made from plaiting material, will be 7117.90.9000, (HTSUS), which provides for imitation jewelry: valued over 20 cents per dozen pieces or parts: other: other. The rate of duty will be 11 percent ad valorem.
Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUS and the accompanying duty rates are provided on World Wide Web at http://www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/.
This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).
A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Nathan Rosenstein at (646) 733-3030.
Robert B. Swierupski
National Commodity Specialist Division