United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 2002 HQ Rulings > HQ 962527 - HQ 963249 > HQ 962575

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 962575

February 8, 2002

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 962575 RH


TARIFF NO.: 6116.93.8800

Area Port Director
U.S. Customs Service
1210 Corbin Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201

RE: Protest number 1001-98-100143; knitted gloves with convertible finger mitts; heading 6116; sports gloves

Dear Sir:

This is in reply to your memorandum dated February 5, 1999, forwarding Application for Further Review of Protest (AFR) number 1001-98-100143. The law firm of Graham & James, LLP, filed the AFR on behalf of Adams Brush Manufacturing Company against Customs classification of gloves under subheading 6116.93.8800 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), as gloves of synthetic fibers.

Customs liquidated the two entries in question on November 28, 1997, and the protestant timely filed the AFR on January 27, 1998.


Style 6250 is a polyester knit fleece half-fingered glove with a mitten-like fold over cap. The mitten portion is used to cover the fingers and is held in place when not in use with hook and loop fabric. The well lined glove features an overlaid palm patch made of embossed neoprene, a hook and clasp, rib knit cuffs and an elasticized wrist.

In a pre-classification decision, PD B87160, dated July 24, 1997, Customs classified the gloves in question under subheading 6116.93.8800, HTSUS, stating that the gloves lack “inner knuckle reinforcement and padding and the shell fabric is unsuitable for‘winter sporting activities.’”

Customs liquidated the two entries in question in accordance with the pre-classification decision under subheading 6116.93.8800, HTSUS. The protestant contends that the gloves should be classified as sports gloves under subheading 6116.10.0800, HTSUS.


Are the gloves at issue designed for use in winter sporting activities such as skiing and snow-mobiling?


Classification of goods under the HTSUS is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI I provides that classification shall be determined according to 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 GRI will be applied, in order of their appearance.

Counsel argues that the gloves are specifically designed for use in winter sporting activities and would never be worn as regular gloves due to their design with fingers cut-away and a mitten overwrap.

In the case of Stonewall Trading v. United States, 64 Cust. Ct. 482, CD 4023 (1970), decided under the Tariff Schedules of the United States, the predecessor to the HTSUS, the court found that the following features, which are not present in ordinary gloves, made the gloves in that case particularly suitable for use in the sport of skiing as an aid and protection for the skier:
a) a hook and clasp that hold the gloves together, which are needed to hang them on the skier's parker when the gloves are removed;
b) an extra piece of vinyl stitched along the thumb portion to meet the stress caused by the flexing of the knuckles when the skier grips the ski pole;
c) an extra piece of red colored vinyl with padding reinforcement and inside stitching, which is securely stitched across the middle of the glove where the knuckles bend and cause stress; and
d) cuffs with an elastic gauntlet to hold the glove firm around the wrist, so as to be waterproof, and to keep it securely on the hand.

Under the TSUS, ski gloves were provided for under item 734.97, as ski equipment. Under the HTSUS, there is an eo nomine provision for ski gloves and such articles are no longer classified as ski equipment. However, the criterion set out in Stonewall is still applicable for purposes of identifying features which are characteristic of ski gloves. See, Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 083562, dated March 21, 1990, and HQ 088989, dated July 24, 1991.

In HQ 088374, dated June 24, 1991, Customs stated that "the failure of a glove to meet all of the Stonewall criteria will not prevent its classification as a ski glove nor will satisfaction of the criteria automatically dictate classification as a ski glove."

Customs has classified virtually identical merchandise in the past. In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 957848, dated August 10, 1995, Customs held that string acrylic knit half-fingered gloves with a fold back lined mitten-like pouch, synthetic suede palm and four inch self rib-knit cuffs were not sports gloves, despite the importer’s claim that they were designed for use in hunting and related sports. In that ruling, we stated:

The design feature of the submitted merchandise, i.e., the mitten-like pouch which can be folded back, makes the gloves suitable for use on days with cold weather climate while also allowing the wearer the unimpeded use of his/her bare fingers. Activities such as photography, surveying, using hand tools, opening a lock, and using house/car keys, are all examples of ordinary activities which are easier to perform with bare fingersThe gloves, in our opinion, are an excellent source of warmth, and provide the wearer with the option of pulling back the mitt portion as needed.

Additionally, in New York Ruling Letter (NY) 872077, dated April 1, 1992, a "fingermit" was classified in subheading 6116.91.0000, HTSUS, which provides for, among other things, other gloves, mittens and mitts, knitted or crocheted, of wool or fine animal hair. The advertisement accompanying this particular merchandise showed the wearer engaged in a job or non-sport activity such as writing, playing a trumpet, looking through a bag, and taking pictures.

We also note an advertisement from Dr. Leonard’s Healthcare Catalog depicting gloves made with Thinsulate™ (the same insulation in the instant gloves) which reads:

These handy gloves have a mitten top that flips back to free your fingers so you can grab keys, pick up change, button your coat, etc. designed for maximum warmth and protection, the wool-blend gloves are lined with Thinsulate™ to keep hands comfortable even in the coldest weather.

In the instant case, we find no characteristics of the gloves which distinguish them from the gloves in HQ 957848, NY 872077 or the gloves in the Dr. Leonard’s catalog or which make them particularly suitable for sports. Accordingly, we find that the gloves are correctly classified under subheading 6116.93.8800, HTSUS.


AFR 1001-98-100143 should be DENIED. The gloves are properly classified under subheading 6116.93.8800, HTSUS, as gloves of synthetic fibers.

In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550-065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, you are to 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 make the decision available to Customs personnel, and to the public on the Customs Home Page on the World Wide Web at www.customs.ustreas.gov, by means of the Freedom of Information Act, and other methods of public distribution.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: