United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1990 HQ Rulings > HQ 0084044 - HQ 0084125 > HQ 0084088

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 084088

June 13, 1989

CLA-2:CO:R:C:G 084088 SR


TARIFF NO.: 6404.19.35

Mr. Skip Gray
A.N. Deringer, Inc.
Airport Road
P.O. Box 337
Houlton, Maine 04730-0337

RE: Classification of foot grippers

Dear Mr. Gray:

This is in reference to your letter dated March 2, 1989, requesting the tariff classification of foot grippers under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). A sample produced in Canada was submitted.


The merchandise at issue consists of a pair of "super sole foot grippers". This is a footwear item that is worn strapped to the bottom of a boot or shoe in order to provide better traction on soft surfaces. The foot gripper has an upper that consists of two 1 inch wide textile straps with Velcro-type closures. It has a rubber outsole with 1/4 inch high, molded-in cylinder shaped nubs that have protruding metal screw heads/studs which have been screwed in. A rubber insole with a nonskid, textured face has been stitched onto the rubber outsole.


What is the classification of the foot gripper?


The importer states that the foot gripper should be classified under 6406.10.4500, HTSUSA, which provides for parts of footwear, uppers and parts thereof, formed uppers, other, of which over 90 percent of the external surface area is rubber and not suitable to be finished into footwear having a foxing or a foxing-like band or designed to be worn as protective footwear.

The footwear at issue cannot be classified as part of footwear because it is a complete shoe. The Explanatory Notes constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. General Note A to chapter 64, HTSUSA, states that footwear may range from sandals with uppers consisting simply of adjustable laces or ribbons to thigh-boots. Explanatory Note A(4) to chapter 64, HTSUSA, includes special sports footwear which has spikes, sprigs, stops, clips, bars or the like. Chapter Note A(9) includes in the chapter overshoes worn over other footwear, even if they are heelless. The foot- grippers do have an upper consisting of textile straps and an outer surface of rubber with the screw heads/studs protruding, and they are worn over other footwear. Therefore, the foot- grippers must be classified as footwear.


The merchandise at issue is classifiable under subheading 6404.19.35, HTSUSA, as footwear with outer soles of rubber and uppers of textile materials, other, with open toes, other. The rate of duty, if this merchandise is considered "goods originating in the territory of Canada", is 33.7 percent ad valorem under the Special duty rate column. Otherwise, the merchandise is dutiable at the rate of 37.5 percent ad valorem.

The importer stated that the molded rubber outsole with the nubs is a U.S. made component, and the rest of the parts of the shoe are manufactured in Canada where are the parts are assembled to make the finished product. Subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUSA, provides for articles that are assembled abroad in whole or in part of fabricated U.S. components which (a) were exported in condition ready for assembly without further fabrication, (b) have not lost their physical identity by change in form, shape, or otherwise and (c) have not been advanced in value or improved in condition abroad except by being assembled and except by operations incidental to the assembly process. Articles that fit the requirements of this provision are dutiable on the full value of the imported article, less the cost or value of the U.S. components as they leave the U.S., if the proper evidence is supplied to U.S. Customs at the time of importation.

The importer also inquired as to whether a sticker is sufficient to mark the country of origin. Section 134.44, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.44), provides that any marking that is sufficiently permanent so that it will remain on the
article until it reaches the ultimate purchaser unless deliberately removed is acceptable. A sticker is sufficient marking if it is strong enough to stay on the merchandise during normal handling.


John Durant, Director

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: