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HQ 081839

July 6, 1988

CLA-2:CO:R:C:G 081839 SR 827485


TARIFF NO.: 6402.11.60

John P. C. Matthews
East Europe Trade Associates
87 Lovers Lane
Princeton, N.J. 08540

RE: Classification of cross-country ski boot of polyurethane- coated leather exterior

Dear Mr. Matthews:

This is in reference to your letter dated December 28, 1987, requesting the tariff classification of a cross-country ski boot under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). A sample was submitted.


The merchandise in question is a cross-country ski boot with a stitched-together leather upper. It has a padded plastic/ tricot lined collar and a front lace closure with four plastic D-rings and two metal hooks. There is a fake fur liner on two triangular plastic overlays at the sides. It has a cemented-on unit-molded rubber/plastic bottom which is specially designed for attaching to ski bindings. The importer has stated that the upper of this shoe has been coated with a "thin spray coating of polyurethane" which is at no point thicker than 0.2 millimeters.


Whether the plastic coated leather upper of the cross- country ski boot is considered to be a plastic or a leather "external surface" for tariff purposes.


Subheading 6402.11.00, HTSUSA, provides for cross-country ski footwear with outer soles and uppers of rubber or plastics. Subheading 6403.11.60, HTSUSA, provides for cross-country ski footwear with outer soles of rubber, plastics, leather or composition leather and uppers of leather.

The definition of patent leather sets guidelines as to whether coated leather is plastic or leather. The Explanatory Notes constitute the official interpretation of the HTSUSA at the international level. Explanatory Note 41.09 (1), defines patent leather as leather coated with a non-transparent, lustrous, mirror-like coating and is considered to be leather if the plastic coating does not exceed 0.15 mm. (6/1000 inch) thick, and as plastic if over that thickness.


If the ski boots have a plastic coating over .15 mm. thick, they would be classified under subheading 6402.11.00, HTSUS, as cross-country ski boots with outer soles and uppers of rubber or plastics, with duty at the rate of 6 percent ad valorem. If the boots have a plastic coating of 0.15 mm. or less they would be classified under subheading 6403.11.60, HTSUS, as cross-country ski boots with outer soles of rubber, plastics, or leather, and uppers of leather, with duty at the rate of 10 percent ad valorem.

This classification represents the present position of the Customs Service regarding the dutiable status of the merchandise under the proposed HTSUS. If there are changes before enactment this advice may not continue to be applicable.

Concerning the country of origin marking on the sample ski boot, we note that there is a fabric label sewn in near the top of the ankle opening. The label is sewn in a loop, and on the "top" of the loop appears "MADE", and on the other side, "IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA".

Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), requires that every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the United States shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly, and permanently as the nature of the article (or container) will permit, in such a manner as to indicate to the ultimate purchaser the English name of the country of origin of the article.

It is our opinion that the country of origin marking satisfies the requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304. The label also appears to carry the size of the boot, and since the ultimate purchaser can be expected to look for the size, it is reasonable to assume they will see the country of origin. Although Customs prefers that all country of origin information be visible on the

"top" of loop labels, since "MADE" appears on the top and the label is easily manipulated to reveal "IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA", we find the label acceptable. An identical label should appear in the same location in both boots of a pair.


John Durant, Director

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