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HQ 083833

May 2, 1989

CLA-2:CO:R:C:G 083833 SR


TARIFF NO.: 6406.99.30

Mr. Robert E. Heinl
A B Contracting Corp.
Suite 1500, Two Penn Plaza
Madison Square Garden Center
New York, N.Y. 10001

RE: Classification of removable insoles

Dear Mr. Heinl:

This is in reference to your letter dated January 26, 1989, requesting the tariff classification of removable insoles from Germany under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). A sample was submitted.


The merchandise at issue, Article 0081, Bama Molli, is a removable insole. The insole consists of a fleece top layer sewn to a non-woven textile layer, which is laminated to a latex foam. The importer states that the article consists of 31 percent wool, 17 percent rayon staple, 23 percent synthetic fleece and 29 percent latex foam.

The sample at issue is not legally marked because of misleading marking on the packaging. On the front of the package "UK" and "US" are marked in reference to sizes. The "Made in Germany" is written in approximately half the size of "UK" and "US", and is on the reverse side of the package. To be considered legally marked, the "Made in Germany" must be written legibly and permanently and in comparable size to "UK" and "US". It must also be written in close proximity to the size marking. The country of origin must be seen in one observation without having to manipulate the article, in other words it must be printed on the same panel as the size markings.

It may be advisable to contact the Federal Trade Commission, Division of Enforcement as to the legality of the statement "a top layer of pure lambswool". Because no statement is made as to the weight breakdown of the fibers or of the wool fibers' status as virgin or reprocessed, this statement may be incorrect marking.


What is the classification of a removable insole?


Subheading 6406.99, HTSUSA, provides for removable insoles. Under GRI 3(b) the material that imparts the essential character of the insole determines whether the merchandise is classifiable as an insole of man-made fibers, rubber, or other. Note 1, to chapter 54, HTSUSA, states: "Throughout the tariff schedule, the term "man-made fibers" means staple fibers and filaments of organic polymers produced by manufacturing processes." This would include the rayon staple and synthetic fleece as man-made fibers.

The bottom layer of the insole consists of latex. This layer provides cushioning to the foot and provides the shape of the insole. The fleece layer on top of the latex consists of the man-made fibers and wool. This upper layer merely provides extra cushioning and comfort. The essential character of the insole is imparted by the latex.


The insole at issue is classifiable under subheading 6406.99.30, HTSUSA, which provides for parts of footwear: insoles, other, of other materials, of rubber or plastics. The rate of duty is 17 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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