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HQ 085565

December 12, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 085565 WAW


TARIFF NO.: 6405.90.9000

Mr. Neil B. Mooney
Flagship Trade Services, Inc.
2509 N.W. 72nd Ave
Miami, FL 33122

RE: Classification of a furskin slipper

Dear Mr. Mooney:

This is in response to your letter of August 10, 1989, requesting a classification ruling on behalf of your client, Sheepskin Imports, for "fur slippers" under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The sample that was submitted is a slipper with an upper and sole made of reversed sheepskin. The slipper consists of five pieces of furskin stitched together. The fur is entirely on the inside of the slipper except for a cuff around the opening of the slipper. The slipper will be imported from Uruguay.


What material constitutes the external surface of the slipper under the HTSUSA?


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) 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 GRI's, taken in order.

Within the limits of Chapter 64, it is the constituent material of the outer sole and the upper that determines tariff classification under headings 6401 to 6405, HTSUSA. The issue in this case is whether the slipper has an upper of leather or of furskin for tariff purposes. Note 4(a) to Chapter 64 provides:

(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.

Explanatory Note 1 to Chapter 43, which constitutes the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, states the following:

Throughout the Nomenclature references to "furskins," other than to raw furskins of heading No. 4301, apply to hides or skins of all animals which have been tanned or dressed with the hair on.

In the instant case, the slipper is made of dressed sheep leather with the hair still attached. New York Ruling letter 831977, dated December 5, 1988, states that "it is clear that the international nomenclature intends that any 'leather' with its hair or fur on should not be considered to be a 'leather' for tariff purposes." Thus, since the constituent material of the sample article is not raw furskin as defined under heading 4301, HTSUSA, it is to be considered "furskin" under the Nomenclature. Furthermore, since both the upper and sole are entirely made of furskin and not leather, the furskin is the material which constitutes the greatest external surface area of the slipper. Moreover, consumers will most likely purchase these slippers for the natural hair of the animal, rather than for the leather. Accordingly, it is Customs position that the slipper is properly classifiable under subheading 6405.90.9000, HTSUSA, which provides for footwear in which the upper's external surface is predominately other than leather, composition leather, textile materials or rubber and/or plastics.


The submitted furskin slipper is properly classifiable under subheading 6405.90.9000, HTSUSA. The rate of duty is 12.5% ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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