United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1990 HQ Rulings > HQ 0085561 - HQ 0085622 > HQ 0085562

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 085562

December 13, 1989

CLA-2:CO:R:C:G 085562 SER


TARIFF NO.: 3926.20.20

Mr. David J. Craven
Riggle, Keating and Craven
205 West Wacker Drive Suite 2022
Chicago, IL 60606

RE: Batting gloves from Hong Kong

Dear Mr. Craven:

This is in reference to your letter of August 9, 1989, requesting the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), of batting gloves from Hong Kong.


Sample A which is described by the inquirer as a batting glove, is made from a knit textile-backed, cellular plastic shell. It consists of a woven 100 percent rayon substrate coated with PVC. The glove has 100 percent nylon fourchettes and trim and a 100 percent acetate woven label. The glove has a Velcro- type tab at the wrist enabling a tight closure. By weight the glove is: 52.5 percent PVC, 27 percent nylon, 21.5 percent rayon and less than .5 percent acetate. By outer surface the glove is well in excess of 50 percent PVC.

Sample B is also described as a batting glove which is identical in all material respects to Sample A, except that this glove does not have the Velcro-type tabs. The weight of the constituent parts of Sample B are similar to that of Sample A.

The inquirer indicates that the gloves are sold, advertised and marketed as a batting glove. Midwest Sporting Gloves sells these type gloves to professional ball clubs for use as promotional items in connection with events referred to as "batting glove nights".


What is the proper classification of the "batting" gloves from Hong Kong, 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 that "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 PVC (plastic) component. It is the PVC which gives the glove a leather-like feel and imparts the toughness and gripping texture needed to make them function as batting gloves. The PVC also protects the hand from abrasion caused by friction which occurs during the swinging of a bat. Absent the PVC component, the gloves would be limp pieces of cloth incapable of performing any of the functions associated with batting gloves. Further, the PVC constitutes the vast majority of the visible surface of the gloves and the gloves are known in the trade as PVC batting gloves.

Since the essential character has been determined, the proper heading must be established for proper classification. Subheading 3926.20.20, HTSUSA, provides for baseball or softball gloves made of plastic. This subheading is a use provision controlled by principal use in the United States (see Additional U.S. Rule 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 as gloves associated with baseball.


The merchandise at issue is classified in subheading 3926.20.20, HTSUSA, which provides for other articles of plastic: articles of apparel: gloves: other: specifically designed for use in sports: baseball and softball gloves and mitts. The rate of duty is 6 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: