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HQ 958738

May 17, 1996
CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 958738 SK


TARIFF NO.: 6116.10.5520

Mr. Ernest M. Csak
Inter-Maritime Forwarding Co., Inc.
156 William Street
New York, N.Y. 10038-2689

RE: Classification of knit pet grooming gloves; NYRL 813954 (9/15/95) affirmed; NYRL 889835 (7/19/94) distinguished; 6116.10.5520, HTSUSA.

Dear Mr. Csak:

On September 15, 1995, the New York Customs office issued you New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 813954 in which a pet grooming glove was classified under subheading 6116.10.5520, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). In your letter to this office, you state that NYRL 813954 is incorrect and that the subject article is properly classifiable under heading 9603, HTSUSA, as a pet grooming device. Upon review, this office deems the classification set forth in NYRL 813954 to be correct. Our analysis follows.


Two samples were submitted to this office for classification. Style 732 is identified as a "Critter Mitt Grooming Glove." Style 733 is identified as a "Kitty Mitt Grooming Glove." Except for the color of the plastic dots applied to the palms and backs of the gloves, both styles are identical. The string knit gloves are made from 60 percent polyester and 40 percent cotton yarn.


What is the proper classification of the subject merchandise?


Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (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. Merchandise that cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 is to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI's, applied in sequential order.

At issue is whether the subject merchandise is classifiable under heading 6116, HTSUSA, which provides for "[G]loves, mittens and mitts, knitted or crocheted," or under heading 9603, HTSUSA, which provides for, inter alia, brooms and brushes. The subject merchandise does not possess a brush component, therefore classification within heading 9603, HTSUSA, is not proper. As subheading 6116.10.5520, HTSUSA, explicitly provides for gloves that are covered with plastics, the subject merchandise is classifiable within this provision of the nomenclature.

This case is distinguishable from NYRL 899835, dated July 19, 1994, in which Customs classified a pet grooming glove under subheading 9603.90.8050, HTSUSA. The palm of the glove at issue in NYRL 889835 was fitted with a functional grooming brush consisting of seven rows of 7 centimeter long flexible rubber bristles which were affixed to the mitt by means of natural rubber in cream form. In that ruling, it was determined that the essential character of the subject merchandise was imparted by the rubber brush component and not the mitt component. In the instant case, the plastic dots do not impart the essence to these gloves. The dots may very well serve a grooming purpose similar to that effected by a brush, but they also provide a secure grip and a modicum of protection to the wearer and do not interfere with these gloves' usefulness in any number of applications. The subject gloves are similar in overall design to other types of all-purpose gloves which have plastic, leather or rubber palm components. As such, they are properly classifiable as gloves within heading 6116, HTSUSA, and it is on this basis that we deem the classification set forth in NYRL 813954 to be correct.


NYRL 813954 is affirmed.

Styles 732 and 733 are classifiable under subheading 6116.10.5520, HTSUSA, which provides for "[G]loves, mittens and mitts, knitted or crocheted: gloves: impregnated, coated or covered with plastics or rubber: other: without fourchettes: other: containing 50 percent or more by weight of cotton, man-made fibers or other textile fibers, or any combination thereof... subject to man-made fiber restraints," dutiable at a rate of 13.8 percent ad valorem. The applicable textile/quota category number is 631.

The designated textile and apparel categories may be subdivided into parts. If so, the 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 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 updated weekly and is available for inspection at the local Customs office.

Due to the nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories, 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
Tariff Classification Appeals

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