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HQ 956130

December 27, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 956130 BC


TARIFF NO.: 3926.90.2000; 4205.00.8000

Leonard W. Turner
Canada Hygienic Supplies, Inc.
132 Chesham Place
London, Ontario, Canada N6G 3T7

RE: Classification of a leather and a polyvinyl chloride finger protector; dressing protector; finger cot

Dear Mr. Turner:

This responds to your letter of March 14, 1994, wherein you requested a binding classification ruling on a finger protector. We have reviewed the matter, and our decision follows.


The merchandise at issue is described as a finger protector or dressing protector. It is designed to fit over a finger to protect it when engaged in repetitive mechanical functions, or to provide a cover over a dressing or bandage applied to a wound. These articles are also known as finger cots. One kind of finger protector is constructed of a leather finger cover that extends over the back of the hand; it is held in place by an elastic band that encircles the wrist. Another type is constructed in the same way, with polyvinyl chloride rather than leather.


What is the proper classification for the leather and polyvinyl chloride finger protectors?


Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that classification is determined in accordance with the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Where goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, the remaining rules will be applied in sequential order.

The finger protectors at issue consist of two materials: leather and elastic and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and elastic. According to GRI 2(b), articles consisting of more than one material are classified by application of GRI 3. In pertinent part, GRI 3 provides the following:

(b) Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to [GRI] 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material that gives them their essential character . . .

It is clear from the above description of the finger protectors that the component that imparts their essential character is that part that covers the finger and extends over the back of the hand. It is these leather and PVC components that form the bulk of the protectors and play the essential role in the function of these articles. The elastic band that is secured around the wrist is clearly the subordinate component. Thus, the finger protectors will be classified as if consisting entirely of either the leather or PVC material.


The PVC finger protector is classifiable as an article of plastic in subheading 3926.90.2000, HTSUSA, which provides for other articles of plastic and articles of other materials of headings 3901 to 3914: other: finger cots. The applicable duty rate is 4.2% ad valorem. The leather finger protector is classifiable as an article of leather in subheading 4205.00.8000, HTSUSA, which provides for other articles of leather or of composition leather: other: other. The applicable duty rate is free.


John Durant, Director

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