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HQ 962998

February 13,2002

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 962998 RH


TARIFF NO: 6116.93.8800

Mr. Michael J. Schaul

Williams Bay Trading Company
1955 Norwood Court
Racine, WI 53403

RE: Request for Revocation of Pre-Classification Ruling D87347, dated April 29, 1999; Ski Gloves; Subheading 6116.93.8800; Subheading 6116.93.0900; Stonewall Trading v. United States, 64 Cust. Ct. 482, C.D. 4023 (1970)

Dear Mr. Schaul:

This is in reply to your letter of May 13, 1999, asking us to review Pre-Classification Ruling (PC) D87347, dated April 29, 1999, concerning the classification of gloves and mittens imported by your company.


The merchandise at issue consists of eight women’s gloves and mittens, style numbers 801, 802, 803, 804, 811 and 814. You submitted a copy of your 1999 catalog and a representative sample (style 801) for our consideration.

Style 801 is a lined glove constructed of a 50 percent acrylic knit, 50 percent polyester shell. The glove features a waterproof barrier, hook and clasp, leather overlay extending across the palm and thumb, internal strips of foam and vinyl covered textile sewn at the side seams across the knuckle. A small non-adjustable snap-tab extends from the heal seam at the back of the hand and a small strip of elastic is sewn internally across the back of the wrist.

In PC D87347, Customs classified the eight styles at issue under subheading 6116.93.8800 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the Untied States (HTSUS), as other gloves and mittens without fourchettes. You argue that the items should be classified as ski gloves under subheading 6116.93.0800, HTSUS.


Are the gloves and mittens at issue designed for use in the sport of skiing?


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.

You argue that the gloves and mittens in question are classifiable under the tariff provision for ski gloves or ski mittens because they are marketed and sold by retailers as ski gloves and have a waterproof liner, palm patch, D-ring and hook, elastic wrist and knuckle protection.

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 "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." We further stated:

Instead, the language of Stonewall must be interpreted in conjunction with the design for use of the manufactured articles, an analysis consistent with precedent and mindful of advances in the ski glove industry (HQ 082336, issued November 21, 1988) (citing Sport Industries, Inc. v. United States (1970), where the court, in interpreting the term "designed for use," examined not only the features of the articles but also the materials selected and the marketing, advertising, and sale of the article).

The sample glove you submitted and the pictures of the gloves in the catalog do not support your claim that the gloves and mittens are designed for skiing. The wrist is only partially elasticized which will prevent it from securing firmly around the wrist so as to be waterproof. Moreover, the gloves and mittens are made of Berber knit fabric that makes them impractical for skiing as snow and ice will readily stick to the fabric. Finally, your catalog does not advertise the gloves or mittens for use in the sport of skiing but rather depicts the gloves and mittens as casual “warmer pile Berber gloves.”

Accordingly, we find that Customs correctly classified the gloves and mittens in the pre-classification decision under subheading 6116.93.8800, HTSUS.


PC D87347 is AFFIRMED. The eight women’s gloves and mittens in question, style numbers 801, 802, 803, 804, 811 and 814 are classifiable under subheading 6116.93.8800, HTSUS, as other gloves mitten and mitts, knitted or crocheted, without fourchettes. They are dutiable at the general column one rate at 19 percent ad valorem and the textile category 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 that your client 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 your local Customs office.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories, your client 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
Commercial Rulings Division

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