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NY N007196

February 27, 2007



TARIFF NO.: 9506.99.2000

Carlos Maldonado
Norman Krieger, Inc.
921 W. Artesia Blvd.
Rancho Dominguez CA 90220

RE: The tariff classification of a football girdle from China.

Dear Mr. Maldonado:

In your letter dated February 9, 2007, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of Wind Enterprises, Inc.

The sample merchandise is a youth seven-pad full-length football girdle. The girdle is constructed of Polypropylene sheet with seven EVA foam pads sewn into polyester pockets.

Heading 9506 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) provides for, among other things, “Articles and equipment for general physical exercise, gymnastics, athletics, [and] other sports”

The Explanatory Notes (EN) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System state at heading 9506 that the heading covers three categories of merchandise: (A) Articles and equipment for general physical exercise, gymnastics or athletics; (B) Requisites for other sports and outdoor games; and (C) Swimming and paddling pools. The ENs to the heading specifically state that category (B) includes: “Protective equipment for sports or games, e.g. fencing masks and breast plates, elbow and knee pads, cricket pads, shin-guards.” However, the ENs to heading 9506 also state that sports clothing of textiles of chapter 61 and 62 is excluded from all of chapter 95, HTSUS, including heading 9506.

Textile articles, such as the football girdle at issue, that are worn on the person while participating in sports and incorporate guards, pads, or foam are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Articles of this nature will be classified as protective sports equipment in heading 9506, HTSUS, if they are primarily worn for protection in sport and are akin to the protective sport equipment exemplars set forth in the EN to heading 9506. Generally, they will incorporate thick non-textile protective guards or pads that are designed exclusively for protection against injury, that is, having protective features with the sole or primary function of directly absorbing the impact of blows, collisions, or flying objects. Generally, these non-textile protective guards will be non-removable or specially fitted to be inserted into textile parts of the articles, made of hard plastic or thick foam, and make the articles impractical to use as everyday wearing apparel.

It is our conclusion that the subject football girdle is eligible for classification in the sports equipment provisions of heading 9506, HTSUS, specifically subheading 9506.99.2000, HTSUS, which covers footballarticles and equipment. The girdle incorporates comparatively significant padding and padding that is of substantially hard plastic or foam material. Articles of this nature provide protection akin to the exemplars set forth in the ENs to heading 9506. The protective features of this girdle pant transform the article into protective equipment for sports provided for in heading 9506. HTSUS.

The applicable subheading for the sample youth seven pad full length football girdle will be 9506.99.2000, HTSUS, which provides for “Articles and equipment for general physical exercise, gymnastics, athletics, other sportsOther: Other: Football, soccer and polo articles and equipment, except balls, and parts and accessories thereof.” The rate of duty will be free.

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/.

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 Tom McKenna at 646-733-3025.


Robert B. Swierupski

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