CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 089589 JS
The Gap, Inc.
900 Cherry Avenue
San Bruno, CA 94066
RE: Arctic fleece ski glove; classifiable textile glove heading
Dear Ms. Murphree:
This is reference to your letter of April 26, 1991,
requesting classification of a fleece glove under the Harmonized
Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).
A sample of the merchandise was provided for our inspection.
The glove at issue, style no. 4709, is a full fingered glove with
fourchettes, and an outer shell of knit polyester fleece. An
oval shaped piece of suede leather is sewn onto the palm and
thumb portion of the glove. The lining is constructed with 100
percent brushed knit nylon fabric which has an interlining of
Thinsulate material. A 3 1/2 by 2 3/4 piece of fabric backed
vinyl with foam padding has been sewn underneath the knit
material and across the knuckle area. The glove also features a
partially elasticized wrist, and a hook and clasp.
Are the gloves at issue specially designed for use in the
sport of skiing.
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in
accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI), taken
in order. GRI 1 provides that classification shall be in
accordance with the terms of the headings and any relevant
section or chapter notes. Where goods cannot be classified
solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the heading and legal notes
do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI may be applied, in
the order of their appearance.
Since the glove at issue is made of both leather and
textile materials, which are classifiable under separate headings
in the nomenclature, we must determine essential character under
GRI 3(b) and Explanatory Note VIII to GRI 3(b). In this case, it
is clear that the textile portion of the glove imparts the
essential character; all the primary surface areas of the glove
are made of the fleece knit material, and it is this soft-
textured material which undoubtedly serves as the basis for
purchase of the item. The suede portion of the glove plays a
minimal role in relation to the textile portion, in that it
covers a very small area of the glove and is not otherwise
The proposed classification of these gloves rests on their
apparent satisfaction of the requirements for ski gloves set
forth in Stonewall Trading Company v. United States, 64 Cust. Ct.
482, C.D. 4023 (1970). Nonetheless, we believe that presence of
the four Stonewall criteria in a glove is not the sole and final
determination of a ski glove. We recognize only that the factors
cited in Stonewall demonstrate prima facie that the subject
merchandise is specially designed for skiing; 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.
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
Since the subheading for knit ski gloves, HTS 6116.93, is a
use provision, it is important to consider the glove as a whole
to determine its use as a ski glove. In the present instance,
despite evidence of each of the Stonewall requirements, several
negative factors detract from classification of this glove as a
1) The glove has a soft fleece exterior which will absorb
and retain moisture, stretch out of shape and/or expand,
and dry slowly, characteristics highly unsuitable to the
sport of skiing where contact with snow is a common
2) The overall appearance of this glove indicates its
similarity to the gloves sold as cold weather gloves in
most department stores. The primary use of fleece
material indicates a design for comfort and warmth,
rather than for use in sports.
3) No evidence of marketing or sale of these gloves as ski
gloves was provided.
For the reasons stated above, and in the absence of definitive
evidence that these gloves are principally used in or specially
designed for the sport of skiing, these gloves may not be
classified as ski or cross-country ski gloves.
The merchandise at issue, style no. 4709 is classified under
subheading 6116.93.9020, which provides for gloves, mittens and
mitts: other: of synthetic fibers: other: other, with
fourchettes, textile category 631, dutiable at the rate of 19.8
percent ad valorem per dozen pairs.
The designated textile and apparel category 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 your client check, close the time of shipment, the Status
Report on Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an 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, the importer should contact
the local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise
to determine the current status of any import restraints or
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division