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HQ 084713

August 03, 1989

CLA-2:CO:R:C:G 084713 SR


TARIFF NO.: 6404.19.35

Mr. Richard L. Burrell
R.G. Barry Corporation
P.O. Box 129
Columbus, OH 43216

RE: Classification of slippers

Dear Mr. Burrell:

This is in reference to your letter dated April 27, 1989, requesting the tariff classification of slippers under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). A sample produced in Taiwan was submitted.


The merchandise at issue is a woman's wedged shaped slipper. The upper is composed of a combination man-made terry and woven fabric with a foam padded PVC liner and insole. It has an outer sole of a canvas textile fabric with rubber and/or plastic traction dots, and a cardboard midsole filler. The dots are approximately 3/32 inch in diameter, 1/64 inch thick on average, and are spaced approximately 1/4 inch apart (on center). The importer states that the weight of the rubber/plastic components accounts for more than 10 percent of the weight of the entire shoe.


Whether the outer sole is of textiles or rubber and plastic for classification purposes.


Classification of goods in chapter 64, HTSUSA, which provides for footwear, is determined by the materials of the outer soles and uppers. Note 4(b) to chapter 64, HTSUSA, states the constituent material of the outer sole shall be taken to be the material having the greatest surface area in contact with the ground, no account being taken of accessories or reinforcements such as spikes, bars, nails, protectors or similar attachments. Because the plastic dots are not accessories or reinforcements, they will not be excluded by note 4(b) to chapter 64, HTSUSA. Therefore, the outer sole is made up of both the textile and the plastic dots. The dots are raised to prevent the textile from touching the ground to protect the textile and to provide traction to the wearer. Even though the slipper has a rigid sole some of the textile may touch the ground depending on the ground surface and the weight of the wearer. However, it is primarily the dots that touch the ground.

HRL 081150, dated November 5, 1987, dealt with children's knit slippers with traction dots. This ruling found the textile material to have the greatest external surface in contact with the ground, however, this slipper did not have a rigid sole and the dots did not cover as much of the surface area.


The merchandise at issue is classifiable under subheading 6404.19.35, HTSUSA, as footwear with outer soles of rubber or plastics, and uppers of textile materials, other, footwear with open toes or open heels, of the slip-on type, that is held to the foot without the use of laces or buckles or other fasteners, except footwear having a foxing or foxing-like band wholly or almost wholly or rubber or plastics applied or molded at the sole and overlapping the upper, other, house slippers. The rate of duty is 37.5 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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