Mr. Ralph Natale
American Shipping Company Inc.
250 Moonachie Road
Moonachie, NJ 07074

RE: The tariff classification of polyethylene retail carrier bags from China

Dear Mr. Natale:

In your letter dated July 21, 2011, on behalf of Keenpac North America Ltd., you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Two sample retail carrier bags were provided with your letter. The bags, referred to as “Stone Eco-bags,” are said to be composed of 60 percent inorganic micro tiny stone powder and 40 percent low density polyethylene (LDPE) plastic. The stone powder acts as filler material for the polyethylene polymer. The bags have braided textile double loop handles, side and bottom gussets, and a paper insert at the bottom to provide support. The bags are printed on the front and back with the name of a retail store. The smaller sample bag measures approximately 13 inches in height by 11 5/8 inches in width and has a 5 inch side and bottom gusset. The larger sample bag measures approximately 16 inches in height by 14 inches in width and has a 4 inch side and bottom gusset. The bags are flimsily constructed and are not suitable for prolonged use.

The applicable subheading for the polyethylene retail carrier bags will be 3923.21.0085, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for articles for the conveyance or packing of goods, of plastics…sacks and bags (including cones): of polymers of ethylene…polyethylene retail carrier bags (PRCBs) with handles (including drawstrings), with no length or width shorter than 6 inches or longer than 40 inches. The general rate of duty will be 3 percent ad valorem.

The merchandise in question may be subject to antidumping duties or countervailing duties. Written decisions regarding the scope of AD/CVD orders are issued by the Import Administration in the Department of Commerce and are separate from tariff classification and origin rulings issued by Customs and Border Protection. You can contact them at (click on “Contact Us”). For your information, you can view a list of current AD/CVD cases at the United States International Trade Commission website at (click on “Antidumping and countervailing duty investigations”), and you can search AD/CVD deposit and liquidation messages using the AD/CVD Search tool at

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

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 Joan Mazzola at (646) 733-3023.


Robert B. Swierupski
National Commodity Specialist Division