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HQ 956463

September 8, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 956463 SK


TARIFF NO.: 6216.00.4600

James D. Schoonover
Cobblestone Gloves Co.
815 Jersey St., Box 898
Baldwin City, Kansas 66006-0898

RE: Classification of gloves specially designed for use in sports; 6216.00 4600, HTSUSA; essential character imparted by the synthetic leather palm.

Dear Mr. Schoonover:

This is in response to your letter of May 14, 1994, in which you request a binding classification ruling for bicycle gloves under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). A sample was submitted to Customs for examination.


The article at issue is a half-fingered glove with a synthetic leather palm. The back of the glove is made of knit nylon material. The back of the thumb and index finger is constructed of a padded knit terry fabric. A side vent is secured by a textile hook and loop closure. An internal pocket located in the heel of the palm holds a rectangular elastic polymer pad. The pad has raised dots on one side and is designed to absorb impact and reduce vibration.


What is the proper classification of the subject glove?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides
that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, taken in order. Merchandise that cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 is to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI's.

The shell of the glove at issue is made from three different fabrics and is therefore considered a composite item. Customs will use a GRI 3(b) analysis, which provides that goods consisting of two or more materials shall be classified as if they were composed entirely of the material which lends them their "essential character."

Explanatory Note VIII to GRI 3(b) provides the following guidelines for determining the essential character of an article:

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.

In the instant case, the synthetic leather palm of the glove is used to enhance grip, cushion impact, reduce vibration from handlebars, and protect the wearer from calluses. These functional aspects of the synthetic leather palm impart the essential character to the glove and classification is therefore based on this man-made fiber component.

Our final inquiry is whether these gloves are classifiable as "other gloves" or as "gloves ... specially designed for use in sports" within heading 6216, HTSUSA. We note that it is the very same characteristics of the synthetic leather palm, set forth supra, which also serve to establish the subject glove as having been specially designed for use in sports. The padded terry component between the index finger and thumb is also persuasive evidence of such design.


The submitted fingerless glove with synthetic leather palm and knit nylon and terry components is classifiable under subheading 6216.00.4600, HTSUSA, which provides for "[G]loves, mittens and mitts: other: of man-made fibers: other gloves..., all the foregoing specially designed for use in sports... ," dutiable at a rate of 5.5 percent ad valorem. There is no textile quota category applicable to the subject merchandise at this time.

Due to the nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification), you should contact the local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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