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HQ 087541

October 11, 1990

CLA-2:CO:R:C:G 087541 SR


TARIFF NO.: 6406.99.90

Ms. Leah M. Poudrier
Weissenfels, Inc.
44 Amaral Street
East Providence, R.I. 02915

RE: Shoe spikes

Dear Ms. Poudrier:

This is in reference to your letter of June 5, 1990, requesting the tariff classification of shoe spikes under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Samples produced in Italy were submitted.


The merchandise at issue is a pair of removable shoe spikes that are designed to provide traction to shoes on ice or snow. The metal studs are 3/16 of an inch thick and are riveted to a fluted rubber pad that serves as a partial outer sole. The rubber pad is somewhat triangular in shape with a base that is 3 inches in width and 2 1/2 inches long. The small end of the pad, which faces the wearer's shoe, splits into two rubber strips that wrap around the back of the shoe to hold the shoe spikes in place. The strips are approximately 1/2 inch in width and 8 inches in length. They interlock by means of a rubber rivet which allows the spikes to be adjusted in length to wrap around the wearer's shoe. The top of the pad has a 2 1/4 inch wide slot which is designed to be stretched over the toe of the wearer's shoe. The spikes are designed to be positioned under the ball of the wearers foot.


Whether the shoe spikes are classifiable as parts of footwear or as metal shoe protectors.


Heading 6406, HTSUSA, provides for parts of footwear; removable insoles, heel cushions and similar articles; gaiters, leggings and similar articles, and parts thereof. The Explanatory Notes provide the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. The Explanatory Notes to heading 6406, HTSUSA, provide the following:

This heading covers:

(A) The various component parts of footwear; these parts may be of any materials except asbestos.

Parts of footwear may vary in shape according to the types or styles of footwear for which they are intended. They include:

(1) Parts of uppers (e.g., vamps, toecaps, quarters, legs, linings and clog straps), including pieces of leather for making footwear cut to the approximate shape of uppers.

(2) Stiffeners. These may be inserted between the quarters and lining, or between the toecap and lining, to give firmness and solidity at these parts of the footwear.

(3) Inner, middle and outer soles, including half soles or patins; also in-soles for gluing on the surface of the inner soles.

(4) Arch supports or shanks and shank pieces (generally of wood, leather, fibreboard or plastics) for incorporation in the sole to form the curved arch of the footwear.

(5) Various types of heels made of wood, rubber, etc., including glue-on, nail-on and screw-on types; parts of heels (e.g., top pieces).

(6) Studs, spikes, etc., for sports footwear.

(7) Assemblies of parts (e.g., uppers, whether or not affixed to an inner sole) not yet constituting nor having the essential character of footwear as described in headings 6401 to 6405.

(B) The following fittings (of any material except asbestos) which may be worn inside the footwear: removable in-soles, hose protectors (of rubber, rubberized fabric, etc.) and removable interior heel cushions.

The shoe spikes do not have an upper with an applied sole; therefore, they cannot be classified as footwear. However, they can only be worn when attached to a shoe or boot. They are spikes, however, they are not necessarily used on sports footwear.

The shoe spikes are similar to removable outer soles. Although most of the items that are listed under this provision are parts that will be permanently affixed to a shoe, some articles, such as removable insoles and hose protectors, are also classifiable under this provision. The shoe spikes are outer soles that are similar to footwear parts that are listed in this provision.

Subheading 6406.20.00, HTSUSA, provides for parts of footwear, outer soles and heels of rubber or plastics. The shoe spikes are composed of rubber and metal. The metal spikes impart the essential character of the shoe spikes. Therefore they are not classifiable under subheading 6406.20.00, HTSUSA.


The shoe spikes at issue are classifiable under subheading 6406.99.90, HTSUSA, which provides for parts of footwear; removable insoles, heel cushions and similar articles; gaiters,
leggings and similar articles, and parts thereof, other, of other materials, other. The rate of duty is 18 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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