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HQ 957120

January 31, 1995

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 957120 ALS


TARIFF NO.: 9506.70.2090

Mr. Gordon C. Anderson
Meyer Customs Brokers
8100 Mitchell RD., Suite 200
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

RE: Modification of District Ruling Letter (DD) 898364, dated June 20, 1994, Regarding Protective Wrist Guards Designed for Use in the Sport of In-line Skating

Dear Mr. Anderson:

In DD 898364 you were advised that protective wrist guards for use in the sport of in-line skating were classifiable in subheading 6216.00.4600, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). We noted that the ruling was premised on the classification of such items as gloves. Pursuant to section 625, Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103- 182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993) (hereinafter section 625), notice of the proposed revocation of DD 898364 was published December 21, 1994, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 28. Number 51.


The articles under consideration, which are referred to as a wrist guards, are fabricated from a combination of knit and mesh man-made fibers which provide the base of the guards, synthetic leather stitched on the stress areas, velcro fastener straps, and molded plastic inserts on the backs and fronts. The articles do not have sheathes and fourchettes which cover the fingers. They have thumb holes and only cover the wrists and upper part of the hands.


What is the classification of the subject articles imported for use in the sport of in-line skating?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) taken in order. GRI 1 provides that the classification is determined first in accordance with the terms of the headings and any relative section and chapter notes. If GRI 1 fails to classify the goods and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's are applied, taken in order.

DD 898364 held that the subject wrist guards were classifiable in subheading 6216.00.4600, HTSUSA, the provision for "Gloves, Mittens, and Mitts: Other: of man-made fibers: other gloves, mitten and mitts, all the foregoing specially designed for use in sports, including ski and snowmobile gloves, mittens and mitts." That ruling held that other protective gear used in the sport of in-line skating, i.e. elbow and knee pads, were classifiable in subheading 9506.70.2090, HTSUSA. That subheading provides for "Articles and equipment for general physical exercise, gymnastics, athletics, other sports...: Ice skates and roller skates, including skating boots with skates attached; parts and accessories thereof: other."

We note that the wrist guards covered by that ruling did not have fingers or thumbs. They had a thumb hole and the remainder thereof merely covered the upper part of the hands. We do not believe that these items, without sheaths and fourchettes to cover the fingers and thumbs, are gloves. These articles are not, therefore, excluded from classification in Chapter 95, HTSUSA, by legal note 1 to that Chapter. Accordingly, these wrist guards, which perform a protective function similar in nature to the other protective gear covered by DD 898364, should be classified in the same subheading as those items.


Wrist guards, for use as protective gear in the sport of in-line skating, which have neither fingers nor thumbs but only cover the wrists and palms of the hands, are classifiable in subheading 9506.70.2090, HTSUSA, whether separately imported or imported in a set with other protective gear for use in in-line - 3 -
skating. Merchandise so classifiable is subject to a free general rate of duty.

DD 898364 is affirmed as to the elbow and knee pads covered thereby. It is modified as to the wrist guards covered therein. In accordance with section 625, this ruling will become effective 60 days after publication in the Customs Bulletin. Publication of rulings or decisions pursuant to section 625 does not constitute a change of practice or position in accordance with section 177.10(c)(1), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.10(c)(1)).


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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