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HQ 085487

September 27, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 085487 HP


TARIFF NO.: 6403.91.9040

Ms. Mary Murphy
Customs Coordinator
Reebok International Ltd.
150 Royall Street
Canton, MA 02021

RE: Reconsideration of HRL 084712 of August 24, 1989

Dear Ms. Murphy

This is in reference to Headquarters Ruling Letter 084712, dated August 24, 1989.


In the above-referenced Ruling, we classified three pairs of shoe lacings, imported in the same packing container with one pair of athletic shoes, under subheading
6403.19.6060, HTSUSA, as footwear with outer soles of rubber, plastics, leather or composition leather and uppers of leather, sports footwear, other , for other persons, for women and misses, other. You now state that the outer soles are composed of rubber and plastics.


Whether the instant merchandise is considered sports shoes under the HTSUSA?


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) to the HTSUSA govern the classification of goods in the tariff schedule. GRI 1 states, in pertinent part :

... classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes ....

Goods which cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 are to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI's, taken in order.

Subheading Note 1 to Chapter 64, HTSUSA, provides: For the purposes of subheadings 6402.11, 6402.19, 6403.11, 6403.19 and
6404.11, the expression "sports footwear" applies only to:

(a) Footwear which is designed for a sporting activity and has, or has provision for the attachment of spikes, sprigs, cleats, stops, clips, bars or the like;

(b) Skating boots, ski-boots and cross- country ski footwear, wrestling boots, boxing boots and cycling shoes.

The instant merchandise makes no provision for the attachments described in subhead ing note 1(a), supra, nor are the shoes specifically designed for those activities enumer ated in 1(b). Therefore, our classifying the shoes as "sports shoes," in HRL 084712, was incorrect.

In HRL 084712, we found that the shoes/laces combination forms a set under GRI
3(b), with the shoes imparting the essential character. This conclusion is incorporated herein as if repeated verbatim. You have acknowledged puzzlement as to which pairs of laces comprise a set with the shoes. The first pair of laces imported with the shoes is considered a part of the shoes, not a set therewith. Only the second pair of laces, and any additional pairs of laces, form a set with the shoes.


As a result of the foregoing, the instant merchandise is classified under subheading
6403.91.9040, HTSUSA, as footwear with outer soles of rubber, plastics, leather or composition leather and uppers of leather, other footwear, covering the ankle, other, for other persons, other, for women, other. The applicable rate of duty is 10 percent ad valorem. The second pair of laces imported as a set with the shoes, plus any additional pairs of laces similarly imported, require a visa in textile category 369 if composed of cotton, a visa in textile category 669 if composed of other materials.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected. Since part categories are the result of international bilateral agreements which are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes, to obtain the most current information available, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report On Current
Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is updated weekly and is available at your local Customs office.

Pursuant to section 177.9, Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177.9), the ruling letter of
August 24, 1989 is modified in conformity with the foregoing.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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