United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1991 HQ Rulings > HQ 0089545 - HQ 0109383 > HQ 0089600

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 089600

September 11, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 089600 DFC


TARIFF NO.: 6404.19.35

Mr. Leonard Satz
Savant Customs Brokers
& Freight Forwarders, Inc.
11 Broadway, Suite 1068,
New York, N.Y. 10004

RE: Slipper, bedroom;

Dear Mr. Satz:

In a letter dated May 22, 1991, you inquired as to the tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), of a slipper manufactured in China. A sample was submitted for examination.


The slipper has an open toe, open back upper made of a "pile-like" material. The outer sole of the slipper is of woven textile covered with plastic dots which are about 3/32" in diameter, are approximately 1/64" thick, and are spaced apart (on center) 1/6" from side to side and 2/11" along the diagonals. The dots are unusually irregular in size and spacing. There is a layer, about 3/32" thick of relatively dense expanded rubber or plastics above the "dotted" outer sole and then two thick layers of cardboard above that. The sole is relatively rigid due to the presence of cardboard.


Is the outer sole of the slipper considered textile or rubber and plastics for tariff purposes?


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 not 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.

Classification of goods under Chapter 64, HTSUSA, which provides for footwear, is determined by the materials that comprise the outer soles and uppers. Note 4(b) to that chapter provides that "[t]he 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."

Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 084713 dated August 3, 1989, was concerned with a slipper with a rigid sole. The entire sole of the slipper was covered with plastic traction dots that were approximately 1/4 inch apart (on center) from each other. That ruling held that the plastic traction dots had the greatest external surface area in contact with the ground and classified the slipper as having a predominately rubber/plastics outer sole.

The slipper in this instance is similar to the slipper which was the subject to HRL 084713 in that both slippers have rigid soles and plastic traction dots that cover the whole sole of the slipper. The only difference between the slippers is that the sample before us has a layer of rubber/plastics between the outersole and the cardboard midsole. As a result, the dotted areas on the sole may recede somewhat when the slipper is worn, however, rubber/plastics comprise the constituent material of the outer sole for tariff purposes.

An examination of the sample persuades us that the rubber/plastics components of the slipper comprise more than 10 percent of the weight of the slipper. Consequently, the slipper is classifiable under subheading 6404.19.35, HTSUSA, as footwear with outer soles of rubber, plastics, and uppers of textile materials, other, footwear with open toes or open heels.


The outer sole of the slipper is comprised of rubber/plastics material.

The slipper is dutiable at the rate of 37.5 percent ad valorem under subheading 6404.19.35, HTSUSA.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: