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HQ 088533

March 25, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 088533 NLP


TARIFF NO.: 6405.20.30

Mr. Leonard Rosenberg
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg
The Waterford
5200 Blue Lagoon Drive
Miami, Florida 33126

RE: Traction Dot slippers

Dear Mr. Rosenberg:

This is in response to your letter dated December 18, 1990, on behalf of your client, Bend N' Stretch, Inc., requesting the tariff classification of traction dot slippers under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). A sample was submitted for our examination.


The sample is an infant's booty with an upper of cotton textile fabric. The outer sole of the booty is also made of a cotton textile fabric with circular plastic dots adhered to it. The dots are 1/16 inch in diameter and are spaced approximately 1/8 inch on center.


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


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

Classification of goods in Chapter 64, HTSUSA, is determined by the materials of the outer soles and uppers. Note 4(b) to Chapter 64, HTSUSA, states 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 similar attachments. Customs does not consider the plastic dots on the outer sole to be excludable as accessories or reinforcements since they do not resemble the exemplars in Note 4(b) to Chapter 64, HTSUSA. Therefore, the plastic dots are part of the material of the outer sole and they must be considered in determining the composition of the outer sole. Since this slipper is made up of both plastic and textile, it must be determined which of these components has the most contact with the ground.

Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 086349, dated June 25, 1990, dealt with the classification of an infant's booty with a soft textile sole covered with traction dots measuring 1/16 inch in diameter and spaced 1/8 inch apart. HRL 086349 held that since the dots were small and the sole was soft, the textile had the greatest degree of contact with the ground.

In the instant case, the traction dots are the same diameter and distance from each other as the traction dots in HRL 086349. In addition, the sole of the instant booty is soft. Therefore, as in HRL 086349, the textile would be the material with the greatest degree of contact with the ground and the booties would be classifiable in Heading 6405, HTSUSA.


The infant booties are classifiable in subheading 6405.20.30, HTSUSA, 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 predominantly consists of vegetable fibers. The rate of duty is 7.5 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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