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 0085379 - HQ 0085482 > HQ 0085381

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 085381

November 21, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 085381 WAW


TARIFF NO.: 6405.90.9000

Ms. Elza Mitelman
Inter-Maritime Forwarding Co. Inc.
156 William Street
New York, NY 10038

RE: Classification of a woman's glass beaded shoe style number 105-08

Dear Ms. Mitelman:

This ruling is in response to your letter of July 24, 1989, requesting a tariff classification of a glass beaded shoe under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The submitted sample, style 105-08, is a woman's sneaker. The sole of the shoe is made of rubber. The upper surface of the shoe consists of glass beads or tiny cylinders that are strung together by threads sewn through the upper portion of the shoe. The glass cylinders on the upper external surface are translucent and silver. There are small gaps between the beads where portions of the underlying fabric is visible; however, overall the beads almost entirely cover the external surface of the upper portion of the shoe.


Whether the glass beads on the external surface of the upper are classifiable as accessories or reinforcements under subheading 6405 of the HTSUSA or under some other provision of the tariff schedules?


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI) set forth the manner in which merchandise is to be classified under the HTSUSA. GRI 1 requires that classification be determined first according to the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes and, unless otherwise required, according to the remaining GRIs, taken in order.

Note 4(a) to Section XII, Chapter 64, states in pertinent part:

(a) The material of the upper shall be taken to be the constituent material having the greatest external surface area, no account being taken of accessories or reinforcements such as ankle patches, edging, ornamentation, buckles, tabs, eyelet stays or similar attachments;

The Explanatory Note to heading 6405, which constitutes the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, states that "[i]f the upper consists of two or more materials, classification is determined by the constituent material which has the greatest external surface area, no account being taken of accessories or reinforcements such as ankle patches, protective or ornamental strips or edging, other ornamentation (e.g. tassels, pompons or braid), buckles, tabs, eyelet stays, laces or slide fasteners." Likewise, although it is not controlling under the HTSUSA, these glass beads would not have qualified as ornamentation under the Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS). Under Schedule 3, headnote 3(b), TSUS, ornamentation of a textile fabric was defined such that "the textile fabric must remain visible, at least in significant part, after ornamentation."

In the subject case, the beads are more than a mere accessory or reinforcement by virtue of the fact that they are so extensive and clearly constitute a significant portion of the upper external surface area. Although there are gaps that expose the underlying textile of the upper, the glass beads constitute more than 90 percent of the external surface area of the shoe. Moreover, because of the expense and work involved in attaching the glass beads to the upper, Customs believes that the beads constitute more than an ankle patch, edging, ornamentation or buckle. Therefore, this article is more accurately described as having a glass upper instead of a textile upper.


The merchandise at issue is classifiable under subheading 6405.90.9000, HTSUSA, as other footwear, other, other. The rate of duty is 12.5 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: