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HQ 085089

July 24, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 085089 DSN


TARIFF NO.: 4205.00.8000

Mr. Jim Pump
Magid Glove & Safety Mfg., Co.
2060 North Kolmar Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60639

RE: Classification of leather carpenter's aprons

Dear Mr. Pump:

This ruling letter is in response to your inquiry of May 3, 1989, requesting classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), for leather carpenter's aprons. A sample produced in China was submitted for examination.


Style number 92195 is a carpenter's apron. The apron is composed of 2 pieces of cowhide leather. The cowhide leather is sewn together by "Kevlar" thread. It has three pockets which are reinforced with black rivets. The apron has a woven cotton adjustable belt that is sewn onto the apron. The belt is designed to be worn around the waist and is secured by a plastic connector.


How are leather carpenter's aprons classified under the HTSUSA?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. The merchandise at issue is considered a composite good because it is composed of leather and cotton, and therefore, GRI 3 is applicable.

GRI 3(b) provides that composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, are classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character. According to the Explanatory Notes which constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, essential character may be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods. With respect to the merchandise at issue, the bulk, quantity, weight, value and the role that the leather plays in relation to the use of the apron far exceeds that of the cotton. Thus, the essential character is imparted by the leather.

Chapter 42, HTSUSA, provides for articles of leather. The notes to chapter 42 provide that the chapter does not cover articles of apparel or clothing accessories. The notes further state that for the purposes of heading 4203 the expression "articles of apparel and clothing accessories" applies, inter alia, to aprons and other protective clothing. We do not consider the instant apron as wearing apparel or as clothing accessories because it covers such a small portion of the user's body and is designed to carry tools. Moreover, this apron provides no protection to the wearer. Thus, the apron at issue cannot be classified under heading 4203, HTSUSA.

Heading 4205, HTSUSA, provides for other articles of leather or of composition leather. The Explanatory Notes constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. The Explanatory Notes to heading 4205 state that the heading covers those articles of leather or composition leather which do not fall in the preceding headings of this Chapter or in other Chapters of the Nomenclature. Since the apron at issue cannot be classified in heading 4203, it is classifiable under heading 4205.


The merchandise at issue is classified under subheading 4205.00.8000, which provides for other articles of leather or of composition leather, other, other, and duty free under the General duty rate column.


John Durant, Director

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