CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 954704

District Director
U.S. Customs Service
6269 Eighth Industrial Drive
Cudahy, WI 53110

RE: Decision on Application for Further Review of Protest No. 3701-93-100088; denied; classification of leather gloves; motorcycle gloves not sport gloves; not specially designed for use as snowmobile gloves; 4203.29.1500, HTSUSA; HRL 951219 (6/26/91); HRL 070520 (10/14/82).

Dear Sir:

This is a decision on application for further review of a protest timely filed on behalf of Yamaha Motor Corp., on May 21, 1993, against your decision regarding the classification of leather gloves. The subject merchandise was entered on August 20, 1992, under subheading 4203.29.1500, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) and liquidated on March 19, 1993.


The gloves at issue are referenced style number SGL-LGNT2- BK. They are full-fingered, fully lined leather gloves. The gloves are constructed with Thinsulate insulation, a knit man- made fiber liner and a microporous membrane which is water and wind proof and breathable. The gloves have a reinforced palm patch and thumb crotch, a partially elasticized wrist and a four inch gauntlet. The invoice for these gloves contains a handwritten notation which describes them as "motorcycle gloves." At this office's request, Yamaha Motor Corp. has submitted a page from its catalog which includes a photocopy of style SGL-LGNT2- BK and describes them as "Leather Gauntlet Gloves" and provides the following copy:

"High-Grade drum-dyed cowhide provides a great look together with lasting protection against the elements. Designed with a waterproof

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insert to keep hands dry and Thinsulate lining to keep them warm."

Protestant states that style SGL-LGNT2-BK is a snowmobile glove and should be classified as a sport glove within subheading 4203.21.8060, HTSUSA. Protestant bases this contention on the fact that Yamaha Motor Corp. is an importer/retailer of sport vehicles and that this provision is the most specific subheading for this merchandise.


Are the leather gloves at issue classifiable as gloves specially designed for use in sports, under subheading 4203.21.8060, HTSUSA, or as leather gloves under subheading 4203.29.1500, HTSUSA?


Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (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, taken in order. Merchandise that cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 is to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI's.

Yamaha Motor Corp. imports and sells both motorcycles and snowmobiles. The gloves for these two types of activities receive disparate treatment for classification purposes under the HTSUSA. Customs has held that motorcycle gloves are not classifiable as sport gloves because traditional motorcycling is not a sport, but rather a mode of transportation. See Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 070520, dated October 21, 1992. (Note that Customs has deemed motocross racing gloves as specially designed for use in sports and thereby classifiable as sport gloves under subheading 4203.21.8060, HTSUSA. See HRL 951219, dated June 26, 1992). Customs has classified snowmobile gloves, so long as they possess features practicable for snowmobiling and are principally used to this end, as sport gloves under subheading 4203.21.8060, HTSUSA. The issue before us, therefore, is whether these gloves are deemed motorcycle gloves or snowmobile gloves as it is this distinction which determines whether the gloves are classifiable as sport gloves.

A physical examination of the gloves at issue yields the conclusion that their design and construction render them equally suitable for use as either motorcycle or snowmobile gloves. The gloves are made of cowhide which is sufficiently thick to protect the hands from stones, branches and the like. The gloves possess

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a reinforced palm and thumb crotch which enables them to withstand repeated contact with a throttle. The gloves are lined with a waterproof insert and Thinsulate which serves to keep the hands warm; this is a highly desirable trait for gloves that are to be used on vehicles that are exposed to the elements such as motorcycles and snowmobiles. The gloves are also designed with a four-inch gauntlet and partially elasticized wrist which serve to greatly reduce the wind and moisture that can enter a glove.

All the aforementioned physical characteristics of style SGL-LGNT2-BK are equally suitable for use in either a motorcycle glove or a snowmobile glove. Accordingly, classification cannot be based on this article's physical attributes. In situations where classification cannot be determined by a physical examination of an article, Customs will consider extrinsic evidence which establishes how a particular article is designed, marketed and sold. In Mast Industries, Inc. v. United States, 9 CIT 549, (1986), the Court of International Trade held that if an article is designed, manufactured, marketed and used as a nightgown, it is classifiable as such. In applying this principle to the instant case, we are not persuaded by the marketing evidence submitted to this office that the gloves at issue are designed, marketed and sold as snowmobile gloves. The catalog page which depicts these gloves, along with nine other styles, does not expressly refer to these gloves as "snowmobile gloves" nor does it state that they are for use in snowmobiling. In fact, only one pair of gloves out of the ten illustrated is explicitly described as matching "the new 1994 Yamaha snowmobiles and outerwear." No such claim was made for the gloves at issue. Without proof that style SGL-LGNT2-BK is designed, marketed and sold specifically as snowmobile gloves, this office cannot conclude that they are "specially designed" for use in this sport.

Moreover, subheading 4203.21.8060, HTSUSA, is a use provision. Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(a) provides:

"A tariff classification controlled by use (other than actual use) is to be determined in accordance with the use in the United States at, or immediately prior to, the date of importation, of goods of that class or kind to which the imported goods belong, and the controlling use is the principal use." [emphasis added]

As no evidence was submitted which effectively proves that the gloves at issue are principally used as snowmobile gloves, and the gloves are suitable for use as motorcycle gloves and advertised in such a manner that a consumer may conclude the gloves are either motorcycle or snowmobile gloves, this office is

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unwilling to conclude that style SGL-LGNT2-BK is specially designed for use in sports and that their principle use is that of a snowmobile glove. Accordingly, style SGL-LGNT2-BK is classifiable as a leather glove under subheading 4203.29.1500, HTSUSA.

HOLDING: Style SGL-LGNT2-BK is classifiable under subheading 4203.21.1500, HTSUSA, which provides for "articles of apparel and clothing accessories, of leather or of composition leather: gloves, mittens and mitts: other: gloves of horsehide or cowhide leather: other: with fourchettes or sidewalls which, at a minimum, extend from fingertip to fingertip between each of the four fingers." The rate of duty is 14 percent ad valorem and no textile quota category is applicable to the subject merchandise at this time.

As the rate of duty under the classification indicated above is the same as the rate under which the subject merchandise was entered, you are instructed to deny the protest in full. A copy of this decision should be furnished to the protestant with the Form 19 notice of action.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division