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HQ 952023

September 10, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 952023 CC


TARIFF NO.: 6216.00.3225

Susan Kearney
Customs Coordinator
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
702 SW 8th St.
Bentonville, Arkansas 72716

RE: Classification of gloves; not classifiable as ski gloves

Dear Ms. Kearney:

This letter is in response to your inquiry of May 11, 1992, requesting the tariff classification of gloves from China. A sample was submitted for examination.


The submitted sample, designated by you as style 1912, is a glove with a woven textile shell made of 65 percent polyester and 35 percent cotton fabric, with 1 millimeter of foam rubber coating on the inner surface. The glove has an overlaid leather palm and thumb reinforcement. There is an additional layer of foam padding and internal textile-backed vinyl reinforcement across the back of the knuckles. In addition, the glove features a partially elasticized wrist, an applied knit cuff, knit fourchettes and sidewalls, and a hook and clasp. The lining is constructed from "Thinsulate" and a brushed knit fabric.


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. Thus, these gloves are not effective in protecting the wearer's hands from water and moisture. 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.

Therefore, we conclude that the gloves at issue are not suitable for skiing and are not designed for that purpose. Instead, they are the class or kind of article known as a cold weather glove. Accordingly, this merchandise is classifiable under subheading 6216.00.3225, HTSUSA.


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

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