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 0089764

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 089764

August 15, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 089764 DWS


TARIFF NO.: 6406.99.60; 6406.10.65

Mr. John Pellegrini
Ross & Hardies
529 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10017-4608

RE: Footwear; Unformed Leather Upper; Leather Sock Liner

Dear Mr. Pellegrini:

This is in response to your letter of May 20, 1991, written on behalf of the Timberland Company, concerning the classification of a footwear upper and sock liner under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The subject leather footwear upper is a four eyelet chukka boot for women which will be imported with a leather sock liner. The upper consists of a leather vamp and quarters. The upper is front part lasted, however, it is not back part lasted. It has two holes in the bottom; an oblong hole in the heel measuring 3 1/4 inches in length and 3/4 inch in width; and a circular hole with a diameter of 5/16 inch in the instep. The sock liner is made of the same leather as the upper and it has sponge, rubber/plastic cushioning. It will cover the interior bottom of the finished shoe from the heel to mid-foot.


What is the proper classification of the subject upper and sock lining, imported together, under the HTSUSA?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification is determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative chapter or section notes.

U.S. Note 4 to Chapter 64, HTSUSA provides in part the following: "[p]rovisions for 'formed uppers' cover uppers, with closed bottoms, which have been shaped by lasting, molding or otherwise but not by simply closing at the bottom."

In HQ 088035, dated February 1, 1991, this office stated that "[w]e consider the leather upper and the sock lining to be a formed upper for the following reasons:

1. the upper and sock lining are constructively assembled pursuant to GRI 2 (a), HTSUSA;

2. the upper is both front part and back part lasted; and

3. since the upper and sock lining are constructively assembled , we will treat the bottom as being closed."

Pursuant to the guidelines in HQ 088035, the subject upper is not formed. It is not formed because it has not been back part lasted.

You have requested that the subject sock liner be classified separately from the upper, specifically under subheading 6406.99.60, HTSUSA, which provides for: "[p]arts of footwear; removable insoles, heel cushions and similar articles; gaiters, leggings and similar articles, and parts thereof: [o]ther: [o]f other materials: [o]f leather." This we cannot do. As ruled in HQ 088035, the separate sock lining and upper are constructively assembled pursuant to GRI 2(a).

GRI 2(a) provides that:

Any reference in a heading to an article shall be taken to include a reference to that article incomplete or unfinished, provided that, as entered, the incomplete or unfinished article has the essential character of the complete or finished article.

GRI 2(a) also applies to articles which are entered unassembled or disassembled. As was stated in HQ 088483, dated March 19, 1991, "[t]he components are clearly intended to be assembled together, and, with the addition of other pieces, most importantly an outersole, will be sold to consumers as finished footwear." Therefore, the sock lining and upper, which are imported together, are deemed to be constructively assembled and are classifiable together, not separately.


The leather upper and leather sock liner are classifiable under subheading 6406.10.65, HTSUSA, which provides for: "[u]ppers and parts thereof, other than stiffeners: [o]ther: [o]f leather." Because the merchandise is manufactured in the Dominican Republic, it will be entitled to duty free entry under the Generalized System of Preferences. Your samples are being returned under separate cover.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: