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HQ 083518

August 14, 1989

CLA-2:CO:R:C:G 083518 SR


TARIFF NO.: 6403.91.9040

Mr. W. Zimmer
J.J. Gavin & Co., Inc.
130 Church Street
New York, N.Y. 10007-2221

RE: Classification of a hiking boot

Dear Mr. Zimmer:

This is in reference to your letter dated December 5, 1988, requesting tariff classification of a hiking boot under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). A sample produced in Italy was submitted.


The merchandise at issue is a leather hiking boot. The boot submitted is about 8 inches high and is an over the ankle boot. It has a leather upper that is not coated with rubber or plastics, and it has a padded leather ankle collar. There is a front lace closure with metal D-rings and speed hooks. The outsole is comprised of thick molded rubber with molded studs. The studs are about 3/8 inch long and about 1 inch by 1/2 inch in form. The boot is of Norwegian welt construction. The importer claims that the boot is to be worn for cross-country hiking and/or skiing. The boot could not be used for cross-country skiing because there is nothing at the toe or heel that would enable it to be attached to a ski. Also the boot is too stiff to allow it to be used for skiing and it covers the ankle whereas most cross-country ski boots do not.


Whether the boots are classified as sports footwear.


Subheading Note 1 to Chapter 64, HTSUSA, states that for the purposes of subheadings 6402.11, 6402.19, 6403.19, and 6404.11, the expression "sports footwear" applies only to footwear which is designed for a sporting activity and has, or has provision for the attachment of spikes, sprigs, cleats, stops, clips, bars or the like.

Although the boots at issue have studs built in the sole, the studs are different from the attachments mentioned in Note 1 to Chapter 64, HTSUSA. The studs may make walking easier in soft grass but the sole is basically a normal sole that can be used for everyday walking. The shoes mentioned in the Note are used for active sports in which a participant does a lot of running, sharp turns, and sudden stopping. Therefore, the boots at issue are not "sports footwear".

The importer states that the boot is welt footwear. However, the boot at issue is a "Norwegian Welt". Additional U.S. Note 1(a) to chapter 64, HTSUSA, states that for the purposes of this chapter the term "welt footwear" means footwear constructed with a welt, which extends around the edge of the tread portion of the sole, and in which the welt and shoe upper are sewed to a lip on the surface of the insole, and the outsole of which is sewed or cemented to the welt. The welt construction of the boot at issue is not the same as the welt footwear provided for in chapter 64, HTSUSA, because the upper has been turned out at the sole and stitched down onto the midsole and there is no separate welt strip and no lip on the surface of the insole.


The boot at issue is classifiable under subheading 6403.91.9040, HTSUSA, as footwear in which the upper's external surface is predominately leather, in which the outer sole's external surface is predominately rubber and/or plastics, which is not "sports footwear," which lacks a protective metal toe-cap, in which the top of the upper covers the wearer's ankle, in which the sole is attached to the upper by a means other than welt
stitched construction, which is for women, which is not work footwear, and in which the leather of the upper is not pigskin. The rate of duty is 10 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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