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HQ 959483

AUGUST 15, 1996

CLA-2 RR:TC:MM 959483 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 7326.90.85

Mr. Joseph J. Kenny
Liberty International, Inc.
150 Eastern Avenue
Chelsea, MA 02150

RE: Steel Mesh Gloves; Multi-Fingered Safety Glove 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, HQ 959141

Dear Mr. Kenny:

In a letter, dated June 27, 1996, on behalf of Fashion Brands, Ltd., you inquire as to the tariff classification of steel mesh gloves made in Germany. You state that open entries of this merchandise are currently pending at the port of Boston.


The merchandise in issue is 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 stainless steel wire, and include an adjustable fastener made of nylon and a metal snap.

You state that a number of entries were made 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. You contend that while these gloves are not mainly used in the household, they are like steel gloves used for household scrubbing or polishing. Based on an administrative ruling classifying similar safety gloves of - 2 -
titanium in a provision for articles of titanium, the Customs officer at Boston has proposed to liquidate at least one entry of steel safety gloves under a provision in HTS heading 7326, as articles of iron or steel.

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
...1.3 cents/kg + 1.5 percent ad valorem

7326 Other articles of iron or steel:

7326.90 Other:


7326.90.85 Other...4.6 percent ad valorem


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 - 3 -
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 subject steel mesh gloves 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. In NY 830483, an advisory ruling dated July 8, 1988, similar safety gloves were classified under a provision in HTS heading 7326. We affirmed this advisory ruling in HQ 959141, dated July 26, 1996.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the stainless steel mesh safety gloves are provided for in heading 7326. They are classifiable in subheading 7326.90.85, HTSUS.


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification

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