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 > 1993 HQ Rulings > HQ 0952812 - HQ 0952903 > HQ 0952875

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 952875

December 14, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 952875 DWS


Tariff No.: 6404.19.20

Mr. W. Andrew Ryu
Top Line Manufacturing Co.
Passaic Industrial Center
90 Dayton Avenue, Building 1F
Passaic, NJ 07055

RE: Footwear; Boots; Sports Footwear; Cleats; HQ 083824; Chapter 64, Subheading Note 1(a)

Dear Mr. Ryu:

This is in response to your letter of September 17, 1992, to the Area Director of Customs, New York Seaport, concerning the classification of hunting boots under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Your letter has been referred to Headquarters for a reply.


The merchandise consists of so-called hunting boots. The waterproof boot is 9 1/2 inches in height, with a thermal insulating layer and an upper made predominately from a textile material, "1000 Denier Cordura Camouflage Nylon". The upper has leather reinforcements covering the entire front toe portion, the eyelet stays, and the sides. A pieced-on leather heel counter extends up the back of the ankle. The boot also has a textile tongue, a padded ankle collar, and a full front lace closure consisting of metal eyelets and D-rings. The outsole consists of molded rubber with molded rubber studs. It is cemented onto an EVA midsole which is, in turn, cemented onto the upper. The molded rubber/plastic bottom overlaps the upper along a 7 1/2 inch portion around the toes. Included in the outsole is a metal cleat, measuring 1 inch square, which has been permanently attached by rivets into a recessed molded portion at the heel. The cleat can be manually snapped into position to provide added traction on steep terrain or on an icy surface.


Whether, for classification purposes, the subject hunting boot can be considered "sports footwear" under the HTSUS?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUS 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 section or chapter notes.

Chapter 64, subheading note 1(a), HTSUS, states that:

[f]or the purposes of subheadings 6402.11, 6402.19, 6403.11, 6403.19 and 6404.11, the expression "sports footwear" applies only to:

(a) Footwear which is designed for a sporting activity and has, or has provision for the attachment of spikes, sprigs, cleats, stops, clips, bars or the like. (emphasis supplied).

In HQ 083824, dated April 27, 1989, it was held that, for classification purposes, hiking boots with molded rubber studs are not to be considered "sports footwear", because the rubber studs are not similar to the attachments described under chapter 64, subheading note 1(a), HTSUS. In the ruling, it was stated that:

[t]the studs may make walking easier in soft grass but the sole is basically a normal sole that can be used for everyday walking. The shoes mentioned in [chapter 64, subheading note 1(a)] are used for active sports in which a participant does a lot of running, sharp turns, and sudden stopping. Therefore, the boots at issue are not "sports footwear".

It is our position that the subject boot is similar in kind to the boot ruled upon in HQ 083824. Although the boot can be used for hunting, it can also be used for everyday walking in wet or icy weather. The fact that the cleat is retractable further suggests that the boot is used for general walking purposes. There is nothing in the design of the subject boot inherent to hunting that is not inherent to walking in general. Consequently, for classification purposes, the boot is not to be considered "sports footwear".

Therefore, it is our position that the subject boot is classifiable under subheading 6404.19.20, HTSUS, which provides for: "[f]ootwear with outer soles of rubber, plastics, leather or composition leather and uppers of textile material: [f]ootwear with outer soles of rubber or plastics: [o]ther: [f]ootwear designed to be worn over, or in lieu of, other footwear as a protection against water, oil, grease or chemicals or cold or inclement weather."


The boot is classifiable under subheading 6404.19.20, HTSUS. The general, column one rate of duty is 37.5 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: