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HQ 087836

October 11, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 087836 NLP


TARIFF NO.: 6405.20.30

Peter J. Morton, Group Import Manager
Lillian Vernon Corp.
510 South Fulton Avenue
Mount Vernon, New York 10550-5067

RE: Slippers imported in a pouch

Dear Mr. Morton:

This letter is in response to your inquiry, dated July 27, 1990, regarding the tariff classification of slippers in a pouch, imported from China, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). A sample was submitted for examination.


The subject sample is a pair of textile slippers with a textile pouch. The slippers have uppers and bottoms of jersey material, containing 54 percent cotton, 36 percent polyester and 10 percent spandex. The uppers of the slippers have metallic gold nylon overlays covering the toe and heel portions of the slippers and the border of the slipper openings. The slippers also have foam inserts between the inner soles and the outer soles. The accompanying pouch is made of the same material as the slippers with the same color and trim and it has a gold nylon drawstring. The pouch is barrel shaped and the slippers and pouch will be imported as a unit.


What is the tariff classification of the slippers.

Whether the slippers and the pouch are classifiable together or separately.


Issue 1- Tariff classification of the slippers

Classification of goods in Chapter 64, which provides for footwear, is determined by the constituent material of the outer sole and upper of the footwear. Note 4(a) to Chapter 64 provides:

(a) The 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.

The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, although not legally binding, may nevertheless be consulted for purposes of interpreting the Harmonized System at the international level. General Explanatory Note D to Chapter 64 states, in pertinent part:

If the upper consists of two or more materials, classification is determined by the constituent material which has the greatest external surface area, no account being taken of accessories or reinforcements, such as ankle patches, protective or ornamental strips or edging, other ornamentation (e.g. tassels, pompoms or braid), buckles, tabs, eyelet stays, laces or slide fasteners.

In determining the constituent material of the slippers' uppers, we exclude the gold overlays as accessories because they are merely ornamentation. Therefore, after excluding the metallic gold overlays, the jersey material comprises the greatest external surface area of the slippers' uppers. Since cotton comprises the largest percentage of the jersey material, the slippers are classifiable in subheading 6405.20.30, HTSUSA, which provides for other footwear, with uppers of vegetable fibers.

Issue 2- Tariff classification of the slippers and slipper pouch

GRI 3 governs the classification of goods which are prima facie classifiable within two or more headings. The slippers are classifiable within Heading 6405, HTSUSA, which provides for other footwear. The slipper pouch is classifiable in Heading 6307, HTSUSA, which provides for other made up articles of textile materials.

GRI 3(b) provides for composite goods made up of different components. Explanatory Note IX to GRI 3(b) provides that composite goods can consist of separable components, provided these components are adapted one to the other and are mutually complementary and that together they form a whole which would not
normally be offered for sale in separate parts. The slipper and pouch are a composite good as that term is defined and applied in the HTSUSA. The components are separable and they are adapted for use together. The pouch is intended to store the slippers during travel or when the slippers are not in use and the pouch for the slippers would not normally be sold separately from the slippers.

Composite goods are classifiable as if they consisted of the component which gives them their essential character. Explanatory Note VIII to GRI 3(b) provides that:

The factor which determines essential character will vary as between different kinds of goods. It may, for example, be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods.

The component which establishes the essential character in this case is the slippers as they play the dominant role in relation to the use of the goods. Accordingly, the composite good would be classifiable as if it consisted solely of the slippers.


The slippers and pouch are a composite good classifiable according to their essential character within subheading 6405.20.30, HTSUSA, which provides for other footwear, with uppers of vegetable fibers. The rate of duty is 7.5 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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