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 > 1993 HQ Rulings > HQ 0951877 - HQ 0951985 > HQ 0951985

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 951985

September 4, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 951985 CC


TARIFF NO.: 6216.00.3225

Lorraine M. Dugan
Customs Analyst
Associated Merchandising Corporation
1440 Broadway
New York, NY 10018

RE: Classification of gloves; not classifiable as ski gloves; HRL 951294

Dear Ms. Dugan:

This letter is in response to your inquiry of May 5, 1992, on behalf of Island Glove, requesting the tariff classification of ladies' gloves from Hong Kong.


The glove at issue, designated by you as style 17 RSI 402, is constructed from woven nylon fabric, which has a 2 millimeter foam rubber coating on the inner surface. The gloves feature acrylic knit fourchettes, sidewalls, and cuffs. The lining consists of a knit fabric and 3 millimeters of foam. Additionally the glove has internal textile-backed vinyl reinforcement and foam padding across the back of the knuckles, a partially elasticized wrist, and a hook and clasp. A 2-3/4 inch wide piece of textile-backed vinyl is sewn internally across the palm and extends under the palm side of the thumb.


Whether the gloves at issue are classifiable in Heading 6116 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) or in Heading 6216, HTSUSA?

Whether the gloves at issue are classifiable as ski gloves?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

The gloves are made of two major components, the knit material and the woven fabric. Knit gloves are provided for in Heading 6116, whereas gloves of woven fabric coated with rubber are classifiable in Heading 6216. Consequently, this merchandise is classifiable in two different headings and GRI 3 is applicable. GRI 3(b) provides that mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character. According to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, Explanatory Notes, the official interpretation of the HTSUSA at the international level, at page 4, "the factor which determines essential character will vary as between different kinds of goods. It may, for example, 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." The woven portion forms, by far, most of the outer surface of the gloves and gives this merchandise its distinctiveness. Accordingly, the gloves are classifiable in Heading 6216 as articles of apparel and clothing accessories, not knitted or crocheted, gloves, mittens and mitts, impregnated, coated or covered with plastics or rubber.

Subheading 6216.00.08 provides for other gloves, mittens and mitts, all the foregoing specially designed for use in sports, including ski and snowmobile gloves, mittens and mitts. In Stonewall Trading Company v. United States, 64 Cust. Ct. 482, C.D. 4023 (1970), the court indicated that the following requirements were necessary features of a glove for classification under the ski equipment provisions of the tariff schedules:

1. a hook and clasp to hold the gloves together;

2. an extra piece of vinyl stitched along the thumb portion to meet the stress caused by the flexing of the knuckles when the skier grasps the ski pole;

3. an extra piece of ... vinyl with padding reinforcement and inside stitching, which is securely stitched across the middle of the glove where the knuckles bend and cause stress; and

4. cuffs with an elastic gauntlet to hold the gloves firm around the wrist, so as to be waterproof, and to keep it securely on the hand.

We believe that the presence of the four Stonewall criteria in a glove is not the sole and final criteria necessary for determining whether a specific glove is a ski glove. We have recognized only that the factors cited in Stonewall demonstrate prima facie that the subject merchandise is specially designed for skiing; failure of a glove to meet all of the Stonewall criteria will not prevent its classification as a ski glove, nor will satisfaction of the criteria automatically dictate classification as a ski glove.

Although the gloves at issue may technically meet the Stonewall criteria, other factors are present which indicate that they are not designed for the sport of skiing. First, the fourchettes, sidewalls, and cuffs are made from acrylic knit fabric, which would absorb water. Second, the knit cuffs and elasticized wrists are not sufficiently tight to prevent snow and water from entering the gloves. Third, there has been no evidence presented that this merchandise will be marketed or sold as ski gloves.

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 951294 of August 28, 1992, we ruled on the tariff classification of gloves similar to those at issue in this case. We found that the gloves of HRL 951294 were not classifiable as ski gloves; they were classified under subheading 6216.00.3225, HTSUSA. The gloves at issue in this case are similarly classified.


The submitted gloves are classified under subheading 6216.00.3225, HTSUSA, which provides for gloves, mittens and mitts, impregnated, coated or covered with plastics or rubber, other, with fourchettes, containing 50 percent or more by weight of cotton, man-made fibers or any combination thereof, subject to man-made fiber restraints. The rate of duty is 14 percent ad valorem, and the textile category is 631.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories applicable to textile merchandise, you should contact your local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected. Since part categories are the result of international bilateral agreements which are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes, to obtain the most current information available, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report On Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an internal issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is available for inspection at your local Customs office.


John Durant, Director

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: