CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 957396 ALS

Mr. Gordon C. Anderson
Meyer Customs Brokers
8100 Mitchell RD., Suite 200
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

RE: New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 895546, dated March 28, 1994, Regarding Protective Gear Designed for Use in the Sport of In-line Skating

Dear Mr. Anderson:

In NYRL 895546 you were advised that protective wrist guards for use in the sport of in-line skating were classifiable in subheading 6216.00.4600, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). We noted that that ruling was premised on the importation of such items by themselves and not as a part of a set including other types of protective gear for that sport. This ruling relates to the proper classification of protective gear designed for use in the sport of in-line skating when importer as a set.


The articles under consideration which are referred to as wrist guards are fabricated from a combination of knit and mesh man-made fibers which provide the base of the guards, synthetic leather on the palms, velcro fastener straps, and molded plastic on the backs and fronts. The articles have sheathes with fourchettes which partially cover the fingers.


What is the classification of the subject articles when imported in a set composed of various protective items for use in the sport of in-line skating? - 2 -


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) taken in order. GRI 1 provides that the classification is determined first in accordance with the terms of the headings and any relative section and chapter notes. If GRI 1 fails to classify the goods and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's are applied, taken in order.

NYRL 895546 held that the subject articles were gloves and classifiable in subheading 6216.00.4600, HTSUSA. We agree that such articles are half-fingered gloves and, when separately imported, are classifiable as indicated in that ruling. We, however, note that that ruling did not cover the situation where the gloves are imported in a set including elbow pads and knee pads which also serve as protective gear for use in the sport of in-line skating. The ruling request to which that ruling responded had indicated that the gloves could be separately imported and imported as part of a set as that term is defined in GRI 3.

NYRL 895546 held that elbow and knee pads used in the sport of in-line skating were classifiable in subheading 9506.70.2090, HTSUSA, and that the gloves were classifiable in subheading 6216.00.4600, HTSUSA. The subheadings, which are equally specific, refer to only a part of the articles put up in a set for retail sale. Thus, classification pursuant to GRI 3(a) is not possible. Also since we are not able to conclude that any one of the articles gives the set its essential character, classification pursuant to GRI 3(b) is not possible.

We, therefore, must utilize GRI 3(c) to classify the set of protective gear. Pursuant to that rule, goods which cannot be classified by reference to GRI 3(a) or 3(b), are classified in the heading which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration in determining their classification. Accordingly, although the protective gloves cannot be classified in Chapter 95, HTSUSA, pursuant to Legal Note 1 of that chapter, when separately imported, when imported as part of a set, they must be classified in heading 9506.


Half-fingered gloves, known as wrist guards, for use as protective gear in the sport of in-line skating, when imported - 3 -

with other protective gear, i.e., elbow and knee pads, as a set for use in that sport, are classifiable in subheading 9506.70.2090, HTSUSA. Merchandise so classifiable is subject to a free general rate of duty.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division