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NY 866225

SEPTEMBER 18, 1991

CLA-2-64:S:N:N3:D 346 866225


TARIFF NO.: 6404.19.80

Mr. William J. LeClair
Trans-Border Customs Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 800
Champlain, NY 12919

RE: The tariff classification and marking of a water sport shoe from Taiwan.

Dear Mr. LeClair:

In your letter dated August 19, 1991, for Genfoot, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

You describe the sample, labelled # 3012-042, as follows:

"The instant product is a molded rubber sole (TPR) slip on shoe having a water-proof textile upper of neoprene material and 2 elastic bands 7/8" in width that cross at the instep to hold the shoe on the foot. The molded sole has cleats across the bottom surface and extends to make a bumper at the toe and support up around the toe and support up around the back of the heel... The shoe, which is called (aqua sock), is used by surfers, water skiers, or other such sports that require footwear that provides firm footing, strong support and waterproof material."

We note that the "cleats" which you refer to are relatively flat, soft, and shallow. We do not consider them to be "cleats" as that term is used in the definition of "sports footwear" in the Chapter 64 Subheading note.

We note that it is of simultaneously molded construction and that the rubber sole overlaps the upper by about 1/2 inch in the toe area and 3/16 inch along the sides. The main upper body of the of the is made of neoprene sandwiched between two layers of textile fabric. In normal use, this item will not keep the wearers feet dry since water will come in over the top. The applicable subheading for your sample will be 6404.19.80, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for footwear, in which the upper's external surface is predominately textile materials; in which the outer sole's external surface is predominately rubber and/or plastics; which is not "athletic" footwear, i.e., it is not "sports" footwear nor is it a tennis, basketball, gym, or training shoe or the like; which is not designed to be a protection against water, oil, or cold or inclement weather; which has a foxing-like band almost wholly of rubber or plastic; and which , we assume, is valued over $6.50 but not over $12.00 per pair. The rate of duty will be 20 percent ad valorem plus $.90 per pair.

If valued over $3.00, but not over $6.50 per pair, the classification will be 6404.19.70, dutiable at 37.5% plus $.90 per pair.

We note that the "Made in Taiwan" molded into the black sole is almost impossible to read. If this will be the only marking on the shoes in the commercial shipments, Customs should not allow them to be released into commerce until they are remarked in a much more legible manner.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Jean F. Maguire
Area Director

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