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HQ 086098

March 22, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 086098 KWM


TARIFF: 4015.19.5000

Ms. Donna Soehngen
Cargo Brokers Limited
148-36 Guy R. Brewer Boulevard
Jamaica, New York 11434

RE: Goalkeepers gloves; rubber gloves

Dear Ms. Soehngen,

This letter is in response to your inquiry dated November 28, 1989 requesting reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 846045 issued by our New York office. NYRL 846045 provided the tariff classification for "Soccer goalie gloves." After reviewing the information supplied in your letter, we decline to revoke or modify NYRL 846045.


The goods at issue here are gloves designed for use by soccer goalies. They are principally constructed of textile backed cellular rubber, where the textile material is present merely for reinforcing purposes. Other constituent materials include coated knit fabric (back and wrist) and an elastic band around the wrist. The textile backed rubber is used for its ability to provide a grip on wet or dry soccer balls, and for its shock absorbency. The advertising material provided with the sample states that "natural latex foam rubber is by far the best material available for goalkeepers gloves."

You letter suggests that prior classification of these goods is incorrect, and that similar goalies' gloves of other importers have been classified in either subheading 4203.21.8060, HTSUSA, or 3926.20.3000, HTSUSA. We cannot comment on the classifica- tion given to goods imported by your competitors for several reasons. First, we do not have any samples or binding rulings before us for merchandise other than the gloves at issue. Second, some requests are confidential in nature and may not be released. Third, many third parties do not have standing to question or request review of rulings not issued to them. Lastly, those rulings, if they exist, have no effect on or application to our classification of this merchandise, since each ruling is based on a specific sample.


Are the instant rubber gloves provided for in subheading 4015.19.5000, HTSUSA, as articles of apparel, of vulcanized rubber other than hard rubber, gloves, other, other.


Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). The systematic detail of the harmonized system is such that virtually all goods are classified by application of GRI 1, that is, according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relevant Section or Chapter Notes. Then, if GRI 1 fails to classify the goods, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRIs may be applied, taken in order.

In the instant case, we find two headings which may be eligible for classification purposes. The first is subheading 4015.19.5000, HTSUSA, which provides for articles of apparel (including gloves), for all purposes, of vulcanized rubber other than hard rubber, gloves, other, other. The other subheading is 6216.00.3005, HTSUSA, which provides for gloves, mittens and mitts, impregnated, coated or covered with rubber, with fourchettes, specially designed for use in sports.

Legal Note 2 to Chapter 40, HTSUSA, states:

2. This chapter does not cover:

(a) Goods of section XI (textiles and textile articles)

Similarly, Legal Note 1 to Section XI states:

1. This section does not cover:

(ij) Woven, knitted, or crocheted fabrics, felts or unwovens, impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with rubber, or articles thereof, of chapter 40.

The effect of these notes is to exclude from Chapter 40 those articles which are predominantly textile, and to exclude from Section XI those things predominantly rubber. In this case, we are of the opinion that these gloves are rubber, and that the textile is present merely for reinforcing purposes. In reaching this determination, we note that the textile material here can be separated from the rubber sheet, leaving it intact. This indicates to us that the rubber is substantial enough to be used by itself, but is backed with textile simply for durability.

Your letter suggests for classification purposes, either subheading 4203.21.8060, HTSUSA, or 3926.20.3000, HTSUSA. These subheadings provide for articles of leather and of plastic, respectively. Neither of these headings may be considered for classification of the merchandise here because the gloves do not contain either of the enumerated materials (leather or plastic) of those subheadings. They are made, however, in large part of rubber, and are classified as such.


As articles of rubber, the instant gloves are classified in subheading 4015.19.5000, HTSUSA, as articles of apparel (including gloves), for all purposes, of vulcanized rubber other than hard rubber, gloves, other, other. The rate of duty is 14% ad valorem.


John A. Durant

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