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HQ 085573

December 28, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 085573 DFC


TARIFF NO.: 6406.10.6500

Teresa M. Polino, Esq.
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg,
Attorneys at Law
1120 Nineteenth Street N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20029

RE: Leather footwear uppers; HRL 082075 modified

Dear Ms. Polino:

In a letter dated August 7, 1989, you inquired as to the tariff classification of certain leather footwear uppers produced in either the Dominican Republic or in Haiti. Samples of the uppers have been submitted for examination.


The samples submitted consist of style 0295808 which has a lace closing; style 6293237 which has as velcro-tab closing; and style 6257224 which is a slip-on style.

It is your position that the imported styles are unformed uppers classifiable under subheading 6406.10.6500, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), as parts of footwear, uppers and parts thereof, other, of leather.


Are these samples considered formed uppers for tariff purposes?


Additional U.S. Note 4 to Chapter 64, HTSUSA, reads in pertinent part as follows:

. . . Provisions for "formed uppers" cover uppers, with closed bottoms, which have been shaped by lasting, molding or otherwise but not by simply closing at the bottom.

The lace-up style has an opening in the rear which measures approximately 5 inches in length and 3/4 inch in width. The velcro-tab style has an opening in the rear area which measures approximately 4-3/4 inches in length and 5/8 inch in width. The slip-on style has an opening in the rear which measures approximately 4 inches in length and 5/8 inch in width.

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 082075 dated December 1, 1988, this office stated that "[w]e construe the phrase closed bottoms as uppers which are substantially closed. It is our view that substantially closed means that more of the lower surface that is intended to cover the bottom of the foot is present, than is absent." We have reconsidered this interpretation and are now of the opinion that uppers which have substantial openings cut out of the bottoms, as is the case here, are not closed within the meaning of Additional Note 4 to Chapter 64, supra.

Although the sample uppers are front-part lasted, it is our observation that they are not back-part lasted.

In our decision of December 1, 1988, supra, this office held that certain footwear uppers which were not back-part lasted and needed to be soaked, re-lasted and dried after importation in order to obtain their final shape, are not formed uppers for tariff purposes.

Inasmuch as the sample uppers do not have closed bottoms and have not been back-part lasted, it is our position that they are not formed uppers for tariff purposes.


The sample uppers are classifiable under subheading 6406.10.6500, HTSUSA, as parts of footwear, uppers and parts thereof, other, of leather, with duty at the general rate of 3.7 percent ad valorem or entitled to free entry under the Generalized System of Preferences or the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act, if otherwise qualified.

HRL 082075 dated December 1, 1988, is modified in part to reflect the result reached here. Any other rulings not in conformity with this ruling are also modified.


John Durant, Director

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