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HQ 959141

JULY 26, 1996

CLA-2 RR:TC:MM 959141 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 7326.90.85

Port Director of Customs
610 S. Canal Street
Chicago, IL 60607

RE: 3901-95-102760; Saf-T-Gard Stainless Steel Mesh Gloves, 5 Finger Gloves With Straps and Hardware for Industrial Use; Mesh Gloves to Protect Workers From Cuts and Punctures; Articles of Iron or Steel; Heading 7323, Polishing Gloves and the Like; NY 830483

Dear Port Director:

This is our decision on Protest 3901-95-102760, filed against your classification of stainless steel mesh gloves made in Hong Kong. The entries under protest were liquidated on August 18, 1995, and this protest timely filed on November 13, 1995.


The merchandise in issue is Saf-T-Gard stainless steel mesh gloves designed and advertised as providing cut and puncture protection for meat and poultry workers and in other applications such as textile cutting where maximum cut protection is required. The gloves are manufactured from overlapping rings made from American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) 316 stainless steel wire, and include an adjustable fastener made of nylon and a metal snap. Another variety of glove is of stainless steel and man-made fiber construction.

The gloves were entered under a provision in heading 7323, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), for pot scourers and scouring or polishing pads, gloves and the like. Based on NY 830483, dated July 8, 1988, an advisory ruling on substantially similar merchandise, your office liquidated the entries under a provision in HTS heading 7326, as articles of iron or steel.

Counsel for the protestant now maintains the entered classification is correct, noting the cited advisory ruling is erroneous because the provision in heading 7323 describes gloves eo nomine, by name; the provision in heading 7323 is relatively more specific than a provision for other articles of iron or steel; and, the provision in heading 7323 cannot be interpreted as encompassing scouring or polishing gloves because no such articles of commerce are known to exist.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

7323 ***; pot scourers and scouring or polishing pads, gloves and the like, of iron or steel:

7323.10.00 ***; pot scourers and scouring or polishing pads, gloves and the like, of iron or steel...1994 and 1995 rates

7326 Other articles of iron or steel:

7326.90 Other:


7326.90.85 Other...1994 and 1995 rates


Whether stainless steel mesh gloves used in industrial applications for safety reasons are goods of heading 7323.


Merchandise is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 states in part that for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, and provided the headings or notes do not require otherwise, according to GRIs 2 through 6.

The Harmonized Commodity Description And Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System. While not legally binding on the contracting parties, and therefore not dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System and are thus useful in ascertaining the classification of merchandise under the System. Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80. 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

The heading 7323 ENs, at p. 1036, state that, in relevant part, that pot scourers, scouring or polishing pads, gloves and the like of that heading are made up from wire, strip, steel wool, etc., sometimes fitted with a handle; provided that they are essentially metal articles, these goods remain in the heading whether or not they are interwoven with textile articles; and, that except for iron or steel wool these goods are mainly used in the household (e.g., for scouring kitchen utensils or sanitary applications, for polishing metal articles, for the care of floor-boards, parquet flooring). The steel mesh gloves under protest are not used mainly in the household, nor are they used for scouring or polishing or for the care of floor-boards and parquet flooring. Because the gloves do not meet the terms of the heading or the terms of the ENs they are not goods of heading 7323.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the stainless steel mesh gloves and those of combination mesh/man-made fiber construction are provided for in heading 7326. They are classifiable in subheading 7326.90.85, HTSUS.

The protest should be DENIED. In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550-065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, you should mail this decision, together with the Customs Form 19, to the protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry or entries in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing the decision. Sixty days from the date of the decision the Office of Regulations and Rulings will take steps to make the decision - 4 -
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John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification

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