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HQ 084131

June 13, 1989

CLA-2:CO:R:C:G 084131 SR


TARIFF NO.: 6115.93.2000; 6115.99.1800

Mr. Robert D. Stang
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz & Silverman 12 East 49th Street
New York, N.Y. 10017-1062

RE: Classification of articles of knit footwear

Dear Mr. Stang:

This is in reference to your letter dated March 13, 1989, requesting the tariff classification of "Beartreads" under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Samples were submitted.


The merchandise at issue is articles of knit footwear with a decorative application of a plastic rubber compound on one side. The article consists of a sock composed of man-made fiber that has a coating/impregnation of a plastic rubber compound that is applied in five applications that form the shape of a bear claw.


Whether the merchandise at issue is classifiable as footwear.


Chapter 64, HTSUSA, is the chapter in which footwear is classified. Note 1(a) to chapter 64, HTSUSA, states that this chapter does not cover footwear without applied soles, of textile material (chapter 61 or 62).

The importer claims that the merchandise has an applied sole because the plastic rubber applications are on the bottom of the sock and they are more water-resistant and abrasive than the textile portion. The importer also provides several dictionary definitions of the term sole including one from the Dictionary of Shoe Industry Terminology, Footwear Industries of America (1986),
which defines sole as:

The bottom piece or pieces of leather or other material of footwear. When used as a collective term, it includes the complete bottom part of the shoe, except the heel.

The plastic rubber coating on the merchandise at issue cannot be considered to be an applied sole. The coating on these articles does not cover the complete bottom of the sock. On one of these samples the coating does not even cover half of the bottom surface. The coating is applied in five separate irregularly shaped pieces, whereas, an applied sole is usually only a single piece. The plastic is more water resistant however, it would not keep the foot dry since it does not cover the entire bottom of the foot. The places on the sock that are coated are more abrasive and would have more tread, however the coating is not sufficient to be considered an applied sole.

Because the merchandise at issue does not have an applied sole it is classifiable in chapter 61. Heading 6115, HTSUSA, provides for stockings, socks and other hosiery, and footwear without applied soles, knitted or crocheted.


The merchandise at issue is classifiable under subheading 6115.93.2000, HTSUSA, which provides for socks and other hosiery, and footwear without applied soles, knitted, other, of synthetic fibers, other, if it is made of synthetic fibers. If the merchandise is made of artificial fibers it is classifiable under subheading 6115.99.1800, HTSUSA, which provides for socks and other hosiery, and footwear without applied soles, knitted, other, of other textile materials, of artificial fibers, other. For both of these classification numbers the textile category number is 632, the rate of duty is 15.5 percent ad valorem under the General rate of duty column.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories, you should contact your local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director

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