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HQ 085561

December 6, 1989

CLA-2:CO:R:C:G 085561 SER


TARIFF NO.: 6216.00.4400

Mr. Robert D. Ewing
719 West Ellsworth Road #4
Ann Arbor, MI 48108

RE: Cross-country ski gloves

Dear Mr. Ewing:

This is in reference to your letter received on August 10, 1989, requesting classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), of cross- country ski gloves made in Pakistan. A sample was submitted.


The submitted sample, style XC-3, has a synthetic leather palm, knit fourchettes and sidewalls, a knit, man-made fiber back of the hand, an elasticized wrist, and a rib knit cuff. The back of the thumb and a diagonal 1-3/4" strip across the back of the hand are made from a terry-type fabric. This glove also has a synthetic leather reinforcement along the seam of the index finger and thumb to protect against the stress caused by the pole. This glove is lightly lined on the back of the hand but has only padding on the palm side. An inseam construction is used throughout. From the description of the palm material, it appears to be of a non-woven man-made fiber that is not impregnated, coated, or covered with plastics. The inquirer states that this style of glove has been used by the U.S. Biathlon Team for two years and that prototypes of this glove have been used by a cross-country ski racer and a ski instructor. In addition, orders have been placed by ski shops for the gloves.


What is the classification of the cross-country ski gloves under the HTSUSA?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI), taken in order. When
goods are prima facie classifiable under two or more headings GRI 3 is applicable. In this case classification is determined by application of GRI 3(b) which provides "goods consisting of different materials, shall be classified as if they consisted of the material which gives them their essential character".

In general "essential character" has been construed to mean the attribute which strongly marks or serves to distinguish what an article is; that which is indispensable to the structure, core or condition of the article. The essential character of the gloves is imparted by the synthetic leather palm side of the glove. This material enables a skier to maintain a better grip on the ski poles. In addition, there is extra material where the poles would primarily be gripped, from the palm up into the thumb and index finger area.

Since the essential character has been determined, the proper heading for the gloves must be determined for proper classification. Heading 6216, HTSUSA, which provides for gloves, mittens and mitts, contains subheadings for "ski and snowmobile gloves, mittens and mitts" which are use provisions controlled by principal use in the United States (see Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(a), HTSUSA). Upon examination of the design features of this glove and its use, proven and advertised, Customs believes that the merchandise at issue will be principally used in cross-country skiing.


The merchandise at issue, if principally used in cross- country skiing, is properly classified in subheading 6216.00.4400, HTSUSA, which provides for gloves, mittens and mitts: other: of man-made fibers: ski or snowmobile gloves, mittens and mitts. The rate of duty is 5.5 percent ad valorem; however, the merchandise from Pakistan may be entitled to free entry under the Generalized System of Preferences if otherwise qualified.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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