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 0085561 - HQ 0085622 > HQ 0085584

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 085584

December 20, 1989

CLA-2:CO:R:C:G 085584 SR


TARIFF NO.: 6404.20.40

Mr. Charles Santarelli
Mersant International Ltd.
158-12 Rockaway Boulevard
Jamaica, NY 11434

RE: Footwear

Dear Mr. Santarelli:

This is in reference to your letter dated August 23, 1989, requesting the tariff classification of a woman's textile shoe, style "Topo", under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). A sample produced in Spain was submitted.


The merchandise at issue is a woman's shoe. The shoe has a textile upper and a plastic coated composition leather sole. The importer states that the leather sole is coated with a plastic spray of 0.05 mm. The material submitted states that the textile fabric of the upper and the rubber and plastic each make up less than 50 percent by weight of the shoe. The shoe appears to be valued over $2.50 a pair.


Whether the sole of the footwear at issue is leather or plastic for classification purposes?


The definition of patent leather sets guidelines as to whether coated leather is plastic or leather. The Explanatory Notes constitute the official interpretation of the HTSUSA at the
international level. The Explanatory Notes to heading 4109, HTSUSA, define patent leather as leather coated with a non- transparent, lustrous, mirror-like coating that is considered to be leather if the plastic coating does not exceed 0.15 mm (6/1000 inch) thick, and as plastic if over that thickness.

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 081839, dated July 06, 1988, it was held that the same 0.15 mm guideline is to be used to determine whether plastic coated leather uppers are considered to be leather or plastic for classification purposes. This ruling stated that if the uppers have a plastic coating of 0.15 mm or less they have an upper of leather, and if they have more than 0.15 mm they have an upper of plastic.

Shoes that have a plastic coated leather sole are considered to have a sole of leather if the layer of plastic is 0.15 mm or less; and they are considered to have a sole of plastic if the layer of plastic is over 0.15 mm.


The footwear at issue is classifiable under subheading 6404.20.40, HTSUSA, which provides for footwear with outer soles of leather or composition leather, not over 50 percent by weight of rubber or plastics and not over 50 percent by weight of textile materials and rubber or plastics with at least 10 percent by weight being rubber or plastics, valued over $2.50 a pair.


John Durant, Director

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: