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HQ 966008

January 29, 2003

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 966008 RH


TARIFF NO.: 6216.00.5820

Gregory Akselrud, Esq.
Business & Technology Law Group, LLP
15821 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 525
Encino, CA 91436

RE: Request for Reconsideration of HQ 965712; HQ 965714 incorporated by reference; classification of gloves; designed for use in sports

Dear Mr. Akselrud:

This is in reply to your letter of October 3, 2002, on behalf of your client, Ironclad Performance Wear Corporation (“Ironclad”), requesting reconsideration of Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 965712, dated August 28, 2002. In that ruling, Customs classified six pairs of gloves, identified as styles GUG, GUO, CCG, WWX, WFG and WUB, under subheading 6216.00.5820 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).

Additionally, on September 4, 2002, Customs filed a proposed revocation of New York Ruling Letter (NY) F80802, referenced as HQ 965714, also issued to your client, concerning the classification of a pair of gloves (style IC-0200GRBBU - this style is now referenced as styles GUG and GUO, which are identical except that the GUO style has a bright orange backside).

The final notice of revocation of NY F80802 was published on December 4, 2002, in Volume 36, Number 49, of the Customs Bulletin. Concurrent with the instant request for reconsideration you submitted a comment letter to proposed HQ 965714, addressing the revocation of the GUG and GUO gloves. Accordingly, this ruling will only address the classification of styles CCG, WWX, WFG and WUB.


A description of the merchandise In HQ 965712 reads as follows:

For style CCG, the cardboard display hanger describes the style name and purpose as “Cold Condition.” On one side below the words “Cold Condition” in smaller yellow lettering is the wording “Professional Uses” after which are listed “Equipment Operation, Tool Use, Cold Storage.” On the reverse side in considerably smaller yellow lettering are written the words “Specifically designed for use in the sport of Competitive Snowmobile Racing.”

For style WWX, the display card describes the name and purpose as “Wrenchworx.” The “Professional Uses” listed are “Mechanics, Machine Operation, Rigging.” On the reverse side in considerably smaller yellow lettering are written the words “Specifically designed for use in the sport of Auto Racing.”

Style WFG is described, as the “Workforce” glove.

For style WUG [sic], the display card describes the name and purpose as “Women”™s Utility [sic].” The “Professional Uses” listed are “Landscaping, Equipment Operation, Traffic Control.” On the reverse side in considerably smaller yellow lettering are written the words “Specifically designed for use in the sport of Equestrian.”

You argue that the gloves should be correctly classified under subheading 6216.00.4600, HTSUS, as gloves specially designed for use in sports.

In HQ 965712, we found that the gloves’ features did not demonstrate that they were specially designed for use in the identified sports. We further found that there was insufficient marketing, advertising and sales of the subject merchandise in the channels of the sports named for which the gloves were allegedly designed.


Are the gloves at issue classified under subheading 6216.00.5820, HTSUS, or under subheading 6216.00.4600, HTSUS?


We note that the request for reconsideration of HQ 965712 raises the same legal arguments that you raised in your comments to the proposed revocation of HQ 965714, including the interpretation of the phrase “specially designed” and “specially designed for use in sports.” Accordingly, we incorporate the LAW AND ANALYSIS portion of HQ 965714 into this ruling by reference.

To summarize Customs position on the classification of sports gloves, in HQ 965714, we stated:

[A] conclusion that a certain glove is “specially designed” for a particular sport, requires more than a mere determination of whether the glove or pair of gloves could possibly be used in a certain sport. In determining whether gloves are specially designed for use in sports, Customs considers the connection the gloves have to an identified sporting activity, the features designed for that sporting activity, and how the gloves are marketed, advertised and sold in relation to the named sport.

The factors listed in HQ 965714 are not mutually exclusive. For example, if it is clear to Customs that a glove is connected to a sporting activity, it is not necessary to examine the marketing and advertising. This was the case in four of the rulings cited in your submission. In NY D83272, dated October 20, 1998, NY 807278, dated March 31, 1995, NY H81192, dated June 1, 2001 and NY 898538, dated June 22, 1994, Customs knowledge of the importer’s merchandise and/or the gloves themselves provided sufficient information to determine that the gloves were designed for use in sports. On the other hand, in NY G80387, dated August 28, 2000 and HQ 958892, dated October 4, 1996, Customs reviewed advertising and marketing information to determine that the gloves were designed for use in sports.

Moreover, comparing a “list” of features of different gloves with Ironclad gloves, as you did in your submission, is misleading. The gloves may share common features such as gauntlets and padding, as you pointed out, yet an examination of the gloves may reveal that they are considerably different. For instance, the gauntlets in the snowmobile gloves in NY 807278, NY H81192 and NY 898538 covered the entire wrist area, and the gloves were constructed of considerably thicker padded material than the CCG style Ironclad glove.

Due to the ambiguous nature of the features of the Ironclad gloves, we must look to the advertising and marketing information to verify your claims that they are designed for use in sports. In HQ 965712, we addressed the advertising and/or marketing information you submitted including a list of thirty-one businesses
where the subject goods are sold, Ironclad’s website and sponsorships and endorsements, and found that the evidence did not support your claim that the gloves are specially designed for use in sports. A more thorough examination of the advertising and marketing of Ironclad gloves is set forth in HQ 965714.

With the request for reconsideration you submitted a copy of Ironclad’s 2002 “license” issued by NASCAR and an agreement entered into with Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company (“3M”) for use of certain gripping material to be incorporated into a “new” model of Ironclad glove specially designed for race car drivers, as well as into the WWX glove. However, this additional information is insufficient to overturn our previous findings that the gloves are not specially designed for use in sports.

Accordingly, we affirm Customs prior findings that the gloves at issue will be primarily worn for industrial non-sport related work and any use in a particular sport will be a secondary or fugitive use.


HQ 965712 is AFFIRMED. The gloves (styles CCG, WWX, WFG and WUB) are classified under subheading 6216.00.5820, HTSUS, which provides for “Gloves, mittens and mitts: Other: Other: Of man-made fibers: With fourchettes, Other.”

The gloves are dutiable at the general column one rate at 20.8¢/kg + 10.5% ad valorem, and the textile restraint category is 631.

HQ 965714 is incorporated by reference.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, 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 you check, close to the time of shipment, the Status on Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is updated weekly and is available at the 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, you should
contact the local Customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current applicability of any import restraints or requirements.


Myles B. Harmon, Director

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