Background

In the Aug. 3 2022, Customs Bulletin and Decisions, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is proposing to reclassify insulated lunch bags as bags with an outer surface other than textile under HTSUS 4202.92.10 (3.4 percent duty) rather than as bags with an outer surface of manmade textile under HTSUS 4202.92.08 (7 percent duty).

The items at issue are constructed with an outer surface of thermoplastic olefin plastic sheeting and manmade textile material. The front panel is wholly constructed with an outer surface of the textile material and the side panels are of approximately 60 percent that material, which CBP states “creates the most visually prominent and stunning impact.” Forty percent of the side panels and all of the bottom and back panels are plain black TPO sheeting. 

These bags are designed to provide storage, protection, organization, and portability to food and beverages during travel and to maintain their temperature. The bags have one interior storage compartment with a plastic lining and a layer of foam plastic between the lining and the body. The bags have a flap with a snap buckle closure, a carrying handle at the top, and an open mesh pocket on the front exterior.

CBP states that it has consistently determined that the material comprising the bulk of the exterior surface area of a bag imparts its essential character, even when the front panel features a visually appealing design. At the same time, with respect to insulated coolers such as the bags at issue CBP has deferred to GRI 3(c) in narrow instances when it is impossible to determine whether the bulk of the surface imparts an item’s essential character. CBP concludes that in this case neither material can be said to impart the bags’ essential character and therefore proposes to classify the bags pursuant to GRI 3(c) under the subheading that occurs last in order among those that equally merit consideration.

Ruling NY N251467 would be revoked to reflect this change. Comments on this proposal are due no later than Sept. 2.

For more information on how to seek or utilize classification and other rulings, please contact attorney Deb Stern at (305) 894-1007 or via email.

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