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HQ 085751

January 9, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 085751 NLP


TARIFF NO.: 6406.99.1540

Mr. Ryden Richardson, Jr.
Customs Administration Manager
Carmichael International Service
P.O. Box 54772, Terminal Annex
Los Angeles, California 90054

RE: Bicycle Shoe Covers

Dear Mr. Richardson:

This is in response to your letter of September 11, 1989, on behalf of Shimano American Corporation, requesting a classification of bicycle shoe covers, imported from South Korea, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). A sample was submitted for our examination.


The bicycle shoe cover is designed to cover a bicycle shoe and to protect the bicyclist's foot and shoe from cold and/or inclement weather. The bicycle shoe cover is composed of neoprene rubber and has a uniformly knit man-made fabric covering the outer surface of the neoprene from approximately just below the ankle to the top of the shoe cover. This shoe cover has a side zipper and a hook and loop fastener to secure the top of the cover around the bottom of the shin. A two-inch wide elastic band secures this cover under the arch of the foot. This cover also has a piece of rubber material under the toes. A rectangular piece of vinyl extends down the center of the shoe cover to the toe piece and joins the two pieces of textile- covered neoprene.


What is the HTSUS classification of the bicycle shoe cover?


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) set forth the manner in which merchandise is to be classified under the HTSUS. 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.

Heading 6406 provides for, inter alia, gaiters, leggings and similar articles. The Explanatory Notes are the official interpretation of the HTS at the international level and provide guidance on the interpretation of HTS heading 6406. Explanatory Note 64.06 states that gaiters, leggings and similar articles "are designed to cover the whole or part of the leg and in some cases part of the foot (e.g. the ankle and instep). They differ from socks and stockings, however, in that they do not cover the entire foot." In addition, the Explanatory Notes state that some of the articles in this heading may have a retaining strap or elastic band which fits under the arch of the foot. Though the bicycle shoe cover is not designed to cover the leg or the entire foot, it is designed to cover parts of the foot and ankle. The instant bicycle shoe cover also has an elastic strap under the arch of the foot. Furthermore, like gaiters and leggings, the bicycle shoe cover is designed to protect the wearer's ankles and parts of the foot from inclement weather. The gaiters, leggings and bicycle shoe cover are also designed to keep water and debris from getting inside the shoe via an opening at the ankle. Therefore, the bicycle shoe cover is classifiable in heading 6406.


The bicycle shoe cover is classifiable in subheading 6406.99.1540, which provides for parts of footwear; removable insoles, heel cushions and similar articles; gaiters, leggings and similar articles, and parts thereof: Of textile materials...Of man-made fibers: Other. The shoe cover falls in textile category 659 and is dutiable at the rate of 17% ad valorem.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories, you should contact your local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.

John Durant, Director

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