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NY M82939

May 16, 2006

CLA-2-61:RR:NC:N3:351 M82939


TARIFF NO.: 6116.93.8800

James Hopkins
General Manager – Sourcing
Ansell Occupational Healthcare
1300 Walnut Street
Box 6000
Coshocton, OH 43812-6000

RE: The tariff classification and status under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), of cut-resistant work gloves from Mexico; Article 509

Dear Mr. Hopkins:

In your letter dated January 19, 2006, addressed to our field office in Cleveland, you requested a ruling on the status of cut-resistant string-knit gloves from Mexico under the NAFTA. In your follow-up letter of April 17, you requested that the matter be forwarded to this office for a ruling. We received the file and samples on April 24, 2006.


At your plant in Juarez, Mexico, you manufacture cut-resistant work gloves for the food service industry, specifically commercial meat and poultry processing plants. The gloves are knit to shape from yarns manufactured in the United States. Your letter included two samples of the gloves and two spools of yarn used to make the gloves, along with the fiber breakdown of each yarn. The first, PC1013 (white) has the following breakdown:

44% polyester
45% Spectra® (which you describe as a “high strength polyethylene”) 11% fiberglass

The second yarn, PC 1948 (grey), is described as follows:

21% white polyester
19% black polyester
40% Spectra
11% fiberglass
9% wire

In an e-mail message, you stated that the Spectra (or Dyneema®, a similar man-made fiber which may be substituted) could be as much as 33-48%, and the fiberglass as much as 20%. You also gave a cost breakdown of the fibers indicating that the Spectra or Dyneema filament yarn is significantly more expensive than any of the other components used in the gloves.

You submitted schematic drawings of the yarns from their U.S. patents. (It is unclear whether or not the patent and drawings are for the yarns you have submitted, but we assume the construction shown is the same.) The drawings show two parallel core strands, which will be either the fiberglass (as in the case of PC1013) or one fiberglass and one metal wire (PC 1948); the core yarns do not twist and are wrapped, or gimped, by three or four layers of the other fibers.

You also state that the Spectra or Dyneema filaments are strong and very smooth, allowing the knife’s cutting edge to slide over the glove. In addition, you state, the Spectra/Dyneema filaments work to hold together the relatively weak fiberglass.

According to the website of Honeywell International Inc., the manufacturer of Spectra fiber (www.Honeywell.com), it is
one of the world’s strongest and lightest fibers. A bright white polyethylene, it is, pound-for-pound, ten times stronger than steel, more durable than polyester and has a specific strength that is 40 percent greater than aramid fiber. . . . Spectra fiber is used in numerous high-performance applications, including police and military ballistic-resistant vests, helmets and armored vehicles, as well as sailcloth, fishing lines, marine cordage, lifting slings, and cut-resistant gloves and apparel.

Both yarns are composite goods, composed of textile fibers and fiberglass (in the case of PC1013) or textile fibers, metal wire, and fiberglass (PC 1948). General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 3(b) of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), requires that the classification of a composite good (an article composed of more than one material) shall be according to that one material that imparts the essential character to the article. In both cases, we have determined that it is the textile component that imparts the essential character, in part because of the predominance of the textile by weight and value, but primarily because it is the high-strength polyethylene that gives the gloves their cut-resistant properties, which is the primary reason for their use. The fiberglass and wire components merely enhance the cut-resistant properties of the yarns, they do not create it. Accordingly, the essential character of both yarns is imparted by the man-made fibers.

You suggest that PC1013 is classifiable in heading 5402, HTSUS, which provides for synthetic filament yarn. However, it is of a gimped construction, as stated above. The Explanatory Notes (EN) to heading 5606, HTSUS, describe gimped yarn in pertinent part as:
products composed of a core, usually one or more textile yarns, around which other yarn or yarns are wound spirally.

Since PC1013 is defined by the terms of heading 5606 it is classifiable accordingly.

PC 1948 is also of a gimped construction, with a metal wire core. Heading 5605, HTSUS, provides for “metalized yarn, whether or not gimped [emphasis added], being textile yarn . . . combined with metal in the form of thread . . . .” The EN to heading 5605 indicate that the proportion of metal to textile is irrelevant. Clearly, the subject merchandise meets the terms of heading 5605, HTSUS, and the EN, and is classifiable accordingly.

Both yarns are primarily of synthetic fibers for tariff purposes.


The applicable tariff provision for the cut-resistant string-knit gloves of synthetic fibers will be 6116.93.8800, HTSUS, which provides for "Gloves, mittens and mitts, knitted or crocheted: other: Of synthetic fibers: Other: Other: Without fourchettes." The general rate of duty will be 18.6% ad valorem.

Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUS and the accompanying duty rates are provided on World Wide Web at http://www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/.


General Note 12(b), HTSUS, sets forth the criteria for determining whether a good is originating under the NAFTA. General Note 12(b), HTSUS, (19 U.S.C. § 1202) states, in pertinent part, that

For the purposes of this note, goods imported into the customs territory of the United States are eligible for the tariff treatment and quantitative limitations set forth in the tariff schedule as "goods originating in the territory of a NAFTA party" only if--

(i) they are goods wholly obtained or produced entirely in the territory of Canada, Mexico and/or the United States; or

(ii) they have been transformed in the territory of Canada, Mexico and/or the United States so that--

(A) except as provided in subdivision (f) of this note, each of the non-originating materials used in the production of such goods undergoes a change in tariff classification described in subdivisions (r), (s) and (t) of this note or the rules set forth therein, or

(B) the goods otherwise satisfy the applicable requirements of subdivisions (r), (s) and (t) where no change in tariff classification is required, and the goods satisfy all other requirements of this note; or

(iii) they are goods produced entirely in the territory of Canada, Mexico and/or the United States exclusively from originating materials; or

(iv) they are produced entirely in the territory of Canada, Mexico and/or the United States but one or more of the nonoriginating materials falling under provisions for "parts" and used in the production of such goods does not undergo a change in tariff classification because--

(A) the goods were imported into the territory of Canada, Mexico and/or the United States in unassembled or disassembled form but were classified as assembled goods pursuant to general rule of interpretation 2(a), or

(B) the tariff headings for such goods provide for and specifically describe both the goods themselves and their parts and is not further divided into subheadings, or the subheadings for such goods provide for and specifically describe both the goods themselves and their parts,
provided that such goods do not fall under chapters 61 through 63, inclusive, of the tariff schedule, and provided further that the regional value content of such goods, determined in accordance with subdivision (c) of this note, is not less than 60 percent where the transaction value method is used, or is not less than 50 percent where the net cost method is used, and such goods satisfy all other applicable provisions of this note.

You state that the gloves are currently made from yarns that are made in the U.S. and are NAFTA-originating. Based on the facts provided, the goods described above qualify for NAFTA preferential treatment because they will meet the requirements of HTSUS General Note 12(b)(iii). The goods will therefore be entitled to a free rate of duty under the NAFTA upon compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and agreements.

However, you state that in the future, you may use a yarn that will contain a component made in the Netherlands. As the knit gloves are classifiable in subheading 6116.93.8800, HTSUS, subdivision 12(t), Chapter 61, rule 39, applies. That note requires:

A change to subheadings 6113 through 6117 from any other chapter, except from headings 5106 through 5113, 5204 through 5212, 5307 through 5308 or 5310 through 5311, chapter 54 or headings 5508 through 5516 or 6001 through 6002, provided that the good is both cut (or knit to shape) and sewn or otherwise assembled in the territory of one or more of the NAFTA parties.

The gloves are knit to shape in Mexico with non-NAFTA-originating yarns that are classified in headings 5605 and 5606, neither of which is excluded above. Based on the facts provided, the gloves with the Netherlands component qualify for NAFTA preferential treatment, because they will meet the requirements of HTSUS General Note 12(b)(ii)(A). The goods will therefore be entitled to a free rate of duty under the NAFTA upon compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and agreements.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 181 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 181).

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 yarns discussed in this ruling, contact National Import Specialist Mitchel Bayer at 646-733-3102. To discuss the gloves or NAFTA, contact National Import Specialist Deborah Marinucci at 646-733-3054.


Robert B. Swierupski

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