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HQ 086349


June 25, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 086349 NLP

CATEGORY: CLASSIFICATION

TARIFF NO.: 6405.20.30

Chief, National Import Specialists Branch 3 U.S. Customs Service
6 World Trade Center
New York, New York 10048

RE: Reconsideration of NYRL 847717-External surface of outersole of a slipper

Dear Madam:

This is in response to your request, dated January 19, 1990, for a reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NYRL), dated December 13, 1989, which classified infant's booties in subheading 6405.20.30, HTSUSA. We agree with the classification in NYRL 847717.

FACTS:

NYRL 847717, dated December 13, 1989, dealt with infant textile booties. The booties have uppers of cotton corduroy material with a stitched-on shoelace extending across the front of each bootie just slightly above the instep. The outer soles of the booties are made of a woven man-made fiber material with circular plastic dots. The dots are 1/16 inch in diameter, are spaced approximately 1/8 inch (on center) and are less than 1/32 inch thick.

The booties were classified in subheading 6405.20.30, which provides for footwear, in which the outer sole's external surface is predominately other than rubber, plastics, leather, or composition leather; in which the upper's external surface is predominately textile materials; and in which the upper predominately consists of vegetable fibers. The rate of duty is 7.5 percent ad valorem.

ISSUE:

What is the external surface of the outersole of the infant booties?

LAW AND ANALYSIS:

Classification of goods in Chapter 64, HTSUSA, which provides for footwear, is determined by the materials that comprise the outer soles and uppers. Note 4(b) to Chapter 64, HTSUSA, states that the constituent material of the outer sole shall be taken to be the material having the greatest surface area in contact with the ground, no account being taken of accessories or reinforcements such as spikes, bars, nails, protectors or other similar attachments. Customs does not consider these plastic traction dots to be excludable as accessories or reinforcements since they do not resemble the given examples in Note 4(b) to Chapter 64, HTSUSA. Therefore, the traction dots are part of the material of the outer sole and they must be considered in determining the composition of the outer sole.

HRL 081150, dated November 5, 1987, dealt with slippers with a soft bottom covered with plastic traction dots. This ruling held that the textile material had the greatest external surface area in contact with the ground and classified the slipper as having a predominately textile outer sole.

Though the plastic dots on the booties are close together and do make contact with the ground, they do not prevent the exposed textile material from also making contact with the ground. Given the fact that the dots are small and the sole is soft, it is our position that the textile material has the greatest degree of contact with the ground.

HOLDING:

The infants booties are classifiable in subheading 6405.20.30, which provides for footwear, in which the outer sole's external surface is predominately other than rubber, plastics, leather, or composition leather; in which the upper's external surface is predominately textile materials; and in which the upper predominately consists of vegetable fibers. The rate of duty is 7.5 percent ad valorem.

NYRL 847717 is hereby affirmed.

Sincerely,

John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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