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HQ 084962

August 15, 1989

CLA-2:CO:R:C:G 084962 SR


TARIFF NO.: 6406.99.9000

Mr. K.E. Walter
E.F. Walter
8225 Labarre
Montreal, Canada H4P 2E6

RE: Removable insoles

Dear Mr. Walter:

This is in reference to your letter dated May 24, 1989, requesting the tariff classification of removable insoles from Canada under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). A sample was submitted.


The merchandise at issue is the "Prestige" thermal removable insole. The insole consists of a top layer of a 100 percent polyester fiber felt, a middle layer of polyurethane-ether foam, and a bottom layer of a metallized polyester film laminated to polyethylene film and fiberglass reinforcing fiber.


What is the classification of a removable thermal insole under the HTSUSA?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI), taken in order. GRI 3(b) provides that composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character.

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.

This insole was designed to provide thermal insulation. The top felt layer of this insole consists of man-made fibers. This layer is intended to hold warmth in and to provide extra comfort. The bottom layer of metallized polyester film is intended to keep the ground cold out. The layer of latex provides cushioning. It is both the felt that holds the warmth in and the metallized polyester film that keeps the cold out that give this insole its insulation qualities. Since the essential character of the insole is not imparted by just one of the layers, classification must be according to GRI 3(c). Under GRI 3(c), goods that cannot be classified by reference to GRI 3(a) or 3(b), shall be classified under the heading which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration. The subheadings that equally merit consideration are 6406.99.1540, HTSUSA, which provides for insoles of textile materials, and 6406.99.9000, HTSUSA, which provides for insoles whose essential character does not come from textile materials.


The insole at issue is classifiable under subheading 6406.99.9000, HTSUSA, which provides for parts of footwear: removable insoles, other, of other materials, other. The rate of duty, if this merchandise is considered "goods originating in the territory of Canada", is 13.7 percent ad valorem under the special duty rate column. Otherwise the merchandise is dutiable at the rate of 18 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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