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 NY Rulings > NY H86583 - NY H86630 > NY H86590

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
NY H86590

January 22, 2002

CLA-2-40:RR:NC:TAB:354 H86590


TARIFF NO.: 4015.19.1010

Mr. Donald S. Stein
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP
1501 M Street N. W. Suite 700
Washington, D. C. 20005-1702

RE: The tariff classification of Nitrile Gloves from Thailand

Dear Mr. Stein:

In your letter dated December 21, 2001, on behalf of Kimberly-Clark Corporation you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The submitted sample marked 61013 is a size large ambidextrous nitrile glove. The glove is 12 “ from fingertips to wrist and features a rolled cuff. The gloves are packaged 100 in a sealed plastic bag, which is placed in another sealed plastic bag. The bag identifies the gloves as

Hypoclean Critical
Nitrile Gloves
For the Critical Clean room Environment
Contains No Natural Rubber Latex
30.5 cm Length-White
For Industrial Use Only

You assert that the gloves should be classified in HTS 4015.11.00, which in 2002 has been superceded by HTS 4015.19.0550. This provision covers medical examination gloves of vulcanized rubber. The subject gloves are to be used in cleanroom manufacturing and production purposes. Attached to your submission you provide information that the gloves are produced to standards which meet or exceed FDA specification for medical examination gloves and exceed ASTM standards for nitrile examination gloves.

HQ 964836 revoked five previous headquarter letters pertaining to the classification of disposable latex gloves that were marked and marketed for non-medical use. In the original letters the gloves are described as being sold for a variety of end uses. Among the applications cited were electronic, chemical and cleanroom environments. Clearly the products were of a high quality. At the same time they were not intended for use in the medical field as evidenced by the packaging and channels of trade through which they moved. You have asserted that the subject gloves are of a different class or kind than those cited in HQ 964826. You state that the Kimberly-Clark gloves, labeled “for industrial use only” are for “high end” industrial use which you define as cleanroom manufacturing and production processes. You provide examples of industries using the product such as semiconductor, pharmaceutical, medical device, fiber optic and aerospace. We note that the latex gloves covered by HQ 964826 were also used for cleanroom applications.

You also argue that the subject gloves are of an extremely high, specialized quality made to standards that exceed those imposed for medical and surgical gloves. The cost is higher than those for medical and surgical gloves is also asserted. In your opinion they are more similar in terms of cost, physical characteristics and intended purpose to surgical and medical gloves than to industrial gloves. In your opinion these gloves should not be distinguished from medical and surgical gloves.

In previous rulings involving apparel items Customs has cited Mast Industries, Inc. v. United States, 9 CIT 549, 552 (1985), aff'd 786 F.2d 1144 (CAFC, April 1, 1986) and in St. Eve International, Inc. v. United States, 11 CIT 224 (1987), which dealt with physically ambiguous sleepwear items. The court ruled that the garments at issue in those cases were manufactured, marketed and advertised as nightwear and were chiefly used as such. If we view the gloves at issue as ambiguous we may look to how the items are manufactured, marketed, advertised and used to determine the proper classification. In this case the clear indication is that the nitrile gloves are manufactured, marketed, advertised and used not by the medical trade but by the industrial trade.

We believe that the subject gloves are not distinguished from those HQ 964826. We also believe that the advertising, marketing, channel of sale and package marking all indicate a non-medical use for this glove.

The applicable subheading for the nitrile gloves will be 4015.19.1010, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for disposable, seamless rubber gloves: non-surgical. The rate of duty will be 3 percent ad valorem.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Brian Burtnik at 646-733-3054.


Robert B. Swierupski

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: