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 > 1994 HQ Rulings > HQ 0000608 - HQ 0088731 > HQ 0086908

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 086908

July 11, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 086908 ALS


TARIFF NO.: 6405.20.9090

Louis S. Shoichet
Siegel, Mandell and Davidson, P.C.
One Whitehall Street
New York, New York 10004

RE: Classification of Teddy Bear Slippers

Dear Mr. Shoichet:

This is in response to your letter dated March 9, 1990, on behalf of Avon Products, Inc., requesting the tariff classification of teddy bear slippers under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). A sample, in a small child's size, was submitted with your request.


The subject merchandise is a slipper designed to give the appearance of a plush teddy bear. The slipper uppers, comprising the body of the bear and ears are composed of 100% acrylic plush with an inner lining of woven fabric of 65% polyester/35% cotton. In addition, two hard plastic eyes are stuck into the upper and stitched onto the surface of the upper in the shape of a nose and mouth of a teddy bear. The slippers are stuffed with polyester fabric, have an inner lining of woven fabric and a layer of plastic foam between the inner lining and the outer sole. The outer sole is fully flexible and is comprised of 100% polyester fabric. Attached to the outer sole are vinyl traction dots each of which are approximately 1/32 inch thick, approximately 3/32 inch each in diameter and approximately 1/5 inch apart (on center). The slipper is said to be a product of The People's Republic of China but the sample presented was not marked to show the country of origin.


Whether the outer sole is composed of textile or rubber and plastic for tariff purposes?


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, which provides for footwear, is determined by the materials of the outer soles and uppers. Note 4(b) to Chapter 64, HTSUSA, states that 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. Because the plastic dots are not accessories or reinforcements they will not be excluded by Note 4(b) to Chapter 64, HTSUSA. Therefore, the outer sole is made up of both the textile and the plastic dots.

In a prior ruling, HRL 085659, dated December 28. 1989, it was Customs position in regard to a very similar article with traction dots of approximately the same diameter, thickness and spacing that the soft flexible textile sole of that article made greater contact with the ground than the traction dots. That conclusion was based on the premise that the textile portion of the sole, which was composed of 100% polyester fabric, would be the material having greatest surface area to come into contact with the ground under the weight of the wearer. In the examination of the slipper which is the subject of this ruling, we note that it has similar characteristics. Both the inner lining and outer sole, to which the plastic traction dots are affixed, are made of fabric and there is a layer of plastic foam between them. Although the percentage of each component of the outer sole which contacts the ground is not subject to ready measurement and the plastic traction dots are felt when rubbing ones hands across the outer sole, we believe that it is reasonable to conclude that, under the weight of a wearer, the textile fabric would have the greatest external surface area.


The merchandise at issue is classifiable under subheading 6405.20.9090, HTSUSA, which provides for footwear, in which the - 3 -
external surface of the sole is predominantly other than rubber, plastic, leather or composition leather in which the upper is of textile material, other. The applicable rate of duty is 12.5 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: