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HQ 085807

January 29, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 085807 HP


TARIFF NO.: 6116.10.3540

Mr. S.K. Lim
Sam Jung Hwagong Company, Ltd.
C.P.O. Box 2125

RE: HRL 082324 modified. Diving gloves of rubber laminated on both sides with textile fabric, where textile fabric is more than mere reinforcement, is a textile product. Sports Industries; sporting;equipment;scuba;4008

Dear Mr. Lim:

This is in reference to our letter HRL 082324 of August 29, 1989, with regard to the tariff classification of diving gloves, produced in Korea, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The merchandise at issue consists of seamed diving gloves, without fourchettes, constructed of a foamed rubber which has been vulcanized and blown. The rubber has been laminated on both sides with a knit man-made fabric. Small plastic dots, providing grip, are apparent on the palm side of the gloves. We assume the textile material does not comprise over 50% by weight of the components.

In HRL 082324, we classified these gloves under subheading 4015.19.50, HTSUSA, as clothing accessories of rubber. Our New York office has requested we review this decision, claiming that classification as an article of textile is more applicable.


Whether the diving gloves are "of rubber" or "of textile" for classification purposes under the HTSUSA? LAW AND ANALYSIS:

Heading 9506, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, articles and equipment for sports. In Sports Industries, Inc. v. United States,
C.D. 4125, 65 Cust. Ct. 470, 474 (1970), Judge Re noted that diving gloves may, under certain circumstances, be sports equipment. Whether the gloves at issue are "sports equipment," however, is not germane to this ruling, since the Explanatory Notes to this heading
(the Explanatory Notes (EN) to the HTSUSA constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level) specifi cally excludes sports gloves. Heading 9506, therefore, is inapplicable.

Heading 4015, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, gloves of vulcanized rubber, used for any purpose. The EN to this heading states:

This heading covers ... clothing acces sories (including gloves) e.g., protective gloves ... for ... divers, etc., whether assembled by means of an adhesive or by sewing or otherwise obtained. These goods may be:

(2)Of woven, knitted or crocheted fabrics, felt or nonwovens, impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with rubber, other than those falling in Section XI (see ... Note 4 to Chapter 59).

Note 4 to Chapter 59, HTSUSA, defines the term "rubberized textile fabrics" as:

(d)Plates, sheets or strip, of cellular rubber, combined with textile fabric, where the textile fabric is more than mere reinforcement....

Where the textile fabric is mere reinforcement, the textile/rubber combination is classified under heading 4008. The EN to heading 4008, in interpreting "present for mere reinforcement," specifi cally excludes cellular rubber combined with textile fabric on both faces, and directs the reader back top heading 5906. It is our opinion that this exclusion serves to regard textile fabric on both sides of rubber as having a function beyond that of mere reinforcement. We feel, therefore, that the instant gloves are composed of "rubberized fabric" of heading 5906, and not classifi able in Chapter 40, HTSUSA.

As a result of the foregoing, the instant merchandise is classified in subheading 6116.10.3540, HTSUSA, as gloves, mittens and mitts, knitted or crocheted, gloves, mittens and mitts impreg nated, coated or covered with plastics or rubber, other, without fourchettes, other, other. The applicable rate of duty is 14 percent ad valorem.

This notice to you should be considered a modification of HRL 082324 of August 22, 1989, as to the merchandise described as diving gloves, under 19 C.F.R. 177.9(d)(1) (1989). It is not to be applied retroactively to HRL 082324 (19 C.F.R. 177.9(d)(2) (1989)) and will not, therefore, affect the transaction for the importation of your merchandise under that ruling. However, for the purposes of future transactions in merchandise of this type, HRL 082324 will not be valid precedent. We recognize that pending transactions may be adversely affected by this modification, in that current contracts for importations arriving at a port subse quent to the release of HRL 085807 will be classified under the new ruling. If such a situation arises, you may, at your discre tion, notify this office and apply for relief from the binding effects of the new ruling as may be dictated by the circumstan ces.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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