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HQ 953704

July 14, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 953704 jb


TARIFF NO.: 6116.93.8800

Area Director
J.F.K. Airport
Building 178
New York, NY 11430

RE: Request for Internal Advice No. 2/93; ladies' knit glove; partially covered or coated fabrics which bear designs precluded from classification as coated fabrics; subheading 6116.93.8800, HTSUSA

Dear Sir:

This is in response to memorandum CLA-2-K:C:B KG, requesting Internal Advice regarding the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), of a ladies knit glove. A sample was submitted to this office for examination.


The submitted sample consists of a ladies' knit glove, stock number 2099, with a seamless knit (string) construction and composed of 90 percent acrylic and 10 percent spandex. The glove is a one size stretch knit, featuring a rib-knit elasticized cuff. The glove can be used in an ambidextrous manner (as the thumb portion is not attached in an inset way), and features 100 percent rubber pads in the form of snowflakes partially covering one side of the glove. It is stated that the rubber snowflakes enhance the grip and life of the glove. The importer, Berkshire Fashions, Inc., argues that the rubber miniature snowflakes covering the palm and palm-side of the fingers are sufficient to consider the glove "coated" for classification purposes. You disagree, stating that the glove should not be classified as "coated".


Whether the partial coating, that is the rubber snowflakes, imparts the essential character to the glove?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI), taken in order. GRI 1 requires that classification be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, taken in order. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, the remaining GRI will be applied, in the order of their appearance.

Chapter Note 2(a) to chapter 59, HTSUSA, states:

Heading No. 59.03 applies to:

Textile Fabrics, impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics, whatever the weight per square metre and whatever the nature of the plastic material (compact or cellular), other than:

(1) Fabrics in which the impregnation, coating or covering cannot be seen with the naked eye (usually Chapters 50 to 55, 58 or 60); for the purpose of this provision, no account should be taken of any resulting change of colour;

(4) Fabrics partially coated or partially covered with plastics and bearing designs resulting from these treatments (usually Chapters 50 to 55, 58 or 60);

The importer states that the essential character of the glove is imparted by the coated portion, i.e. the rubber snowflakes, on one side of the glove. In support of this, reference is made to Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 084283, dated August 8, 1989, and New York Ruling Letter (NY) 851788, dated May 18, 1990, both addressing the essential character of knit gloves featuring some form of plastic coating.

Though the essential character of the gloves in both these rulings was determined to be imparted by the plastic coating, the determination was based on the fact that in the former, the plastic coating completely covered the surface area of the palm, including additional plastic strips across the back of the hand, and in the latter, the plastic coating covered most of both the palm and back of the palm. Thus, the rubber portion of both gloves outweighed the importance of the knit.

The rubber snowflakes featured on the submitted glove do not totally obscure the knit fabric, in addition, as the thumb portion is not attached in an inset way, the glove can be used in an ambidextrous manner. This being the case, that is, that the rubber snowflakes can actually be worn so that they cover the back of the hand, and not the palm, this has no effect on the "grip" of the glove. The snowflakes are mostly decorative in nature and do not outweigh the importance or utility of the knit.

Reliance on Headquarters Ruling (HQ) 085102, dated September 25, 1989, is similarly misplaced. That ruling addressed the essential character of a textile-topped and textile lined plywood box. In that case it was found that the added value, aesthetic appeal and marketability attributed to the decorative textile fabric completely surpassed that imparted by the wood. It thus followed that the essential character of the article was imparted by the textile fabric and not the wood. As discussed above, in the case of the subject merchandise, the rubber snowflakes do not change the essential character of the knit glove to a coated knit glove.

We direct your attention to NY 861687, dated April 18, 1991. That ruling determined that the rectangular strip of rubber applied to the palm side of each finger and the back of the hand over the insert thumb, and the rubber applied to the palm of the glove in a small chevron design, did not impart the essential character to the glove. Similarly, the subject glove featuring rubber snowflakes cannot be regarded a "coated glove".

As is stated in Chapter Note 2(a)(4) to chapter 59, HTSUSA, partially covered or coated fabrics which bear designs resulting from those treatments are precluded from being classified as coated fabrics. The application of this note to the subject glove reveals that we have a partially covered palm with a snowflake design, which is not considered coated. It follows that the glove was correctly classified in subheading 6116.93.8800, HTSUSA.


The knit glove, stock number 2099, is classifiable under subheading 6116.93.8800, HTSUSA, which provides for gloves, mittens and mitts, knitted or crocheted, of synthetic fibers, without fourchettes, other. The applicable rate of duty is 19.8 percent ad valorem and the textile category is 631.

A copy of this decision should be furnished to the initiator of the Internal Advice Request.


John Durant, Director

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