CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 953768 CAB

District Director of Customs
Federal Building
Room 198
N.W. Broadway & Glisan Sts.
Portland, Oregon 97209

RE: Request for Further Review of Protest No. 2904-93-100062, dated March 15, 1993, concerning the classification of knit textile gloves coated with plastics

Dear Sir:

This ruling is in response to the protest that was filed by Saf-T-Gard International Inc., on March 15, 1993, against your decision concerning the classification of a glove coated with compact plastic vinyl (PVC). No sample was submitted for examination.


The merchandise in question, Style 620, is a long cotton knit work glove which is coated with PVC. The protestant submitted a photocopy from the seller's catalog that depicted the glove in question. The catalog declared that the glove was "suitable for light duties, production line work, fishery, gardening, farming, etc."

This protest concerns entries of the subject merchandise that was liquidated by your port. The gloves were liquidated under subheading 6116.10.7040 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for gloves coated or covered with plastics. The gloves were entered under subheading 3926.20.1050, HTSUSA, which provides for plastic clothing accessories (including gloves).

The protestant contends that because the glove is seamless, the knit cotton portion, which he refers to as a liner, should be disregarded and classification should be based on GRI 3(b). ISSUE:

Whether the glove at issue is properly classifiable under Heading 3926, HTSUSA, as other articles of plastics, or under Heading 6116, HTSUSA, as a knit glove coated with plastics?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Merchandise that cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 is to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI's, taken in order.

The glove in question is potentially classifiable under two distinct headings. Heading 6116, HTSUSA, is the provision for gloves, mittens and mitts, knitted or crocheted. The other possibility is Heading 3926, HTSUSA, which is the provision for other articles of plastics.

The protestant states that the merchandise in question can not be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1. The protestant further maintains that since the glove in question is comprised of plastic and a nylon textile lining, that the glove should be classified on the basis of GRI 3(b). GRI 3(b) provides that the material or component which imparts the essential character to the goods will determine the classification. The protestant asserts that the plastic portion imparts the essential character of the glove in question and the item should be classified under Heading 3926, HTSUSA.

Customs confronted the issue of the proper tariff classification for gloves comprised of textile material and plastic coatings in Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 088539, dated June 3, 1991, HRL 086358, dated June 19, 1991, and HRL 089847, dated December 3, 1991. In all of the cited rulings, Customs based classification on GRI 1 and stated that some prior rulings had erroneously utilized GRI 3(b) to classify similar merchandise without first considering GRI 1. Accordingly, GRI 1 governs the classification of the instant merchandise.

In order to properly classify the instant item (plastic and textile article), Note 2(1) to Chapter 39, HTSUSA, Note 1(h) to Section XI, HTSUSA, and Note 2 to Chapter 59, HTSUSA, must be consulted. Note 2(1) to Chapter 39, HTSUSA, states, that this Chapter does not cover goods of Section XI (textiles and textile articles). However, Note 1(h) to Section XI, HTSUSA, maintains that the provisions in that section do not cover woven, knitted or crocheted fabrics, felt of nonwovens, impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics, or articles thereof, of Chapter 39. Finally, Note 2 to Chapter 59, HTSUSA, states, in pertinent part that Heading 5903, HTSUSA, applies to:

(a) Textile fabrics, impregnated, coated, covered, or laminated with plastics, whatever the weight per square meter and whatever the nature of the plastic material (compact or cellular), other than:

(5) Plates, sheets or strip of cellular plastics combined with textile fabric, where the textile fabric is present merely for reinforcing purposes (Chapter 39).

In this case, despite the protestant's assertions otherwise, the textile component of the glove is present for more than mere reinforcement. The textile material allows the glove to be put on and removed without difficulty. Also, the textile material permits the glove to be worn more comfortably since plastic directly against a wearer's skin would invite and trap perspiration. Since the instant glove is not subject to any of the relevant exclusions of Note 2(a) to Chapter 59, HTSUSA, it is considered to be "of textile" with regard to tariff classification.

The protestant refers to the knit textile portion of the glove as a "liner". The protestant further states that an examination of the glove section of the Tariff Schedules of the United States Annotated (TSUSA), its' legislative and judicial history, manifests that wording was included to show that glove linings without seams were to be disregarded when determining tariff classifications; and since there is no language to the contrary in the HTSUSA, the practice should be carried over when classifying goods pursuant to the HTSUSA. When classifying goods in accordance with the HTSUSA, Customs generally looks to specific headings, chapter notes, section notes, and the Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (EN). It is important to emphasize that the HTSUSA replaced the TSUSA and if the HTSUSA is silent on an issue or policy espoused in the TSUSA, it does not suggest that the position is somehow carried over into the interpretation of the HTSUSA.

As the HTSUSA makes no mention of disregarding seamless liners, Customs will consider the glove in its entirety. The instant glove is specifically provided for in Section XI, HTSUSA, as a textile article, and can be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1. Accordingly, the glove in question is classifiable under Heading 6116, HTSUSA, as a glove coated with plastics.


Based on the foregoing, the glove in question is classifiable under subheading 6116.10.7040, HTSUSA, which provides for gloves coated with plastics. The applicable rate of duty is 14 percent ad valorem.

The protest should be denied. A copy of this decision should be attached to the Customs Form 19 and provided to the protestant as part of the notice of action.


John Durant, Director