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HQ 087201

December 18, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 087201 DFC


TARIFF NO.: 6405.20.30

John M. Peterson, Esq.
Neville, Peterson & Williams
Counsellors At Law
39 Broadway
New York, New York 10006

RE: Slipper, casual, ladies

Dear Mr. Peterson:

Your letter dated April 16, 1990, addressed to our New York office, concerning the tariff classification of a ladies casual slipper manufactured in Taiwan and/or Hong Kong has been referred to this office for a direct reply to you. A sample of the slipper in its condition as imported was submitted for examination.


The sample slipper has a textile upper composed 54 percent by weight of cotton, 38 percent by weight of polyester, a man-made fiber, and 8 percent by weight of spandex, also a man-made fiber. Further, the slipper will feature a sewn-on applied outer sole of the same fabric, a textile inner sole composed of the same fabric with a 100 percent nylon interlocking seam binding, and a midsole of polyurethane foam plastic measuring .9 millimeters in thickness, and weighing 15 grams per square foot. An embroidered logo will be stitched into the vamp portion of the upper.

You inform us that after importation, an anti-skid tread of expanded plastic materials will be printed onto the outersole of the slipper.


1. Does the slipper in its condition as imported exhibit the essential character of footwear?

2. What is the constituent material of the upper?


In applying the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), the Customs Service must follow the terms of the statute. Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that "classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, and, provided such headings or notes do no otherwise require, according to [the remaining GRI's taken in order]." In other words, classification is governed first by the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes.


GRI 2(a), HTSUSA provides as follows:

Any reference in a heading to an article shall be taken to include a reference to that article incomplete or unfinished, provided that, as presented,the incomplete or unfinished article has the essential character of the complete or finished article. It shall also included a reference to that article complete or finished (or falling to be classified as complete or finished by virtue of this rule) entered unassembled or disassembled.

Prior to the advent of the HTSUSA, it was our position that uppers with closed bottoms and having no outer soles were unfinished footwear for tariff purposes. See Uniroyal v. United States, 3 CIT 220 (1982). Under the HTSUSA the same articles are considered to be parts of footwear because they do not have the essential character of footwear i.e., having both soles and uppers provided for in Headings 6401 through 6405, HTSUSA. We interpret this treatment of uppers affixed
to inner soles as effectively eliminating for the purposes of Chapter 64 consideration of the slipper in issue in its contemplated finished condition. In other words, condition as imported will govern classification of the instant merchandise.

This office has ruled that several items which were clearly unsaleable without the outersole which would be added in the United States were footwear parts in Heading 6406, HTSUSA. The sample before us differs from those other articles because in its imported condition it is usable as footwear and is also commercially saleable to consumers as footwear. Clearly, slippers represented by the sample exhibit the essential character of footwear.


Note 4(a) to Chapter 64 provides that "[t]he constituent 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."

Note 2(A) to Section XI, HTSUSA, provides that "[g]oods classifiable in Chapters 50 to 55 or in heading 5809 or 5902 and of a mixture of two or more textile materials are to be classified as if consisting wholly of that one textile material which predominates by weight over each other single textile material."

Also, Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(d) to the HTSUSA, provides that "[i]n the absence of special language or context which otherwise requires --the principles of Section XI regarding mixtures of two or more textile materials shall apply to the classification of goods in any provision in which a textile material is named."

Based on the information submitted by you as to the composition by weight of the sample upper, it is apparent that cotton predominates by weight over each other single textile material. Thus, the constituent material of the upper is vegetable fiber.


Slippers represented by the sample are classifiable under subheading 6405.20.30, HTSUSA, as other footwear, with uppers of textile materials, with uppers of vegetable fibers. The applicable rate of duty is 7.5 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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