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HQ 081297

November 25, 1988

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 081297 DC


TARIFF NO.: 6404.19.15

Mr. Gordon Levy
NAVAJO Manufacturing Co.
5801 Logan Street
Denver, Colorado

RE: Tariff classification of a nylon leather beachcomber sandal manufactured in Hong Kong

Dear Mr. Levy:

Your letter dated September 17, 1987, addressed to our New York office concerning in part the tariff classification of a nylon leather beachcomber sandal under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), has been referred to this office for a direct reply to you.


The sample submitted is a beachcomber sandal that has a nylon "Y" thong upper with stitched leather overlays and a multi- colored EVA foamed sole.


Does subheading 6404.19.15, HTSUSA, more specifically describe the beachcomber sandal than subheading 6404.19.25-35, HTSUSA.


General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 3(a), HTSUSA provides in part as follows:

3. When, by application of rule 2(b) or for any other reason, goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, classification shall be as follows:

(a) The heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to heading providing a more general description.***

GRI 6, HTSUSA provides as follows:

6. For legal purposes, the classification of goods in the subheadings of a heading shall be determined according to the terms of those subheadings and any related subheading notes and, mutatis mutandis, to the above rules on the understanding that only subheadings at the same level are comparable. For the purposes of this rule, the relative section, chapter and subchapter notes also apply, unless the context otherwise requires.

The merchandise is described by two equally indented descriptions within subheading 6404.19, HTSUSA. The first description under subheading 6404.19.15 provides for "Footwear having uppers of which over 50 percent of the external surface area (including any leather accessories or reinforcements such as those mentioned in note 4(a) to this chapter) is leather." The second description under subheading 6404.19.25-35, HTSUSA, provides for "Footwear with open toes or open heels; footwear of the slip-on type ***".

With reference to GRI 3(a), it is our opinion that subheading 6404.19.15 is a more specific provision for the sandal than subheading 6404.19.25-30. The former provision contains a rather technical surface area description which, describes only a very specific type of shoe classified in subheading 6404.19 (note that almost all fabric shoes with leather overlays have been athletic). Subheading 6404.19.25-30 has three broad trade descriptions, i.e., open heeled, open toe and slip-ons, any one of which is sufficient to meet its description, as long as it has an upper of textile materials and is not footwear in subheading 6404.19.20 or footwear with foxing or foxing-like bands.


The beachcomber sandal is most specifically provided for under subheading 6404.19.15, HTSUSA, as footwear with outer soles of rubber, plastics, and uppers of textile materials, other, footwear having uppers of which over 50 percent of the external surface area (including any leather accessories or reinforcements such as those mentioned in note 4(a) to this chapter) is leather. The rate of duty for this provision is 10.5 percent ad valorem.

This classification represents the current position of the Customs Service regarding the dutiable status of the merchandise under the HTSUSA which become effective on January 1, 1989. If there are changes before that date, this advice may not continue to be applicable.


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