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HQ 953950

July 6, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 953950


TARIFF NO.: 6401.92.90

District Director of Customs
U.S. Customs Service
Key Tower Bldg., #2200
1000 2nd Avenue
Seattle, Washington 98104-1049

RE: Protest no. 3004-93-100043; Boots, golf, rubber; Footwear, protective, waterproof

Dear Sir;

This is in response to the Application for Further Review of Protest no. 3004-93-100043, covering a shipment of certain rubber golf boots manufactured in Malaysia. A sample was submitted for examination.


The footwear involved is an over-the-ankle, slip-on, golf boot with a rubber/plastics upper and sole. This boot is of vulcanized construction, and contains no stitching, riveting, nailing, screwing, plugging or similar processes, either in the assembly of the upper or in the attachment of the upper to the sole. This boot has a foxing, and eleven spikes attached to the sole.

The entry covering these rubber golf boots was liquidated on January 29, 1993, under subheading 6401.92.90, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). The protest was timely filed on March 23, 1993. The protestant maintains that these rubber golf boots are properly classifiable under subheading 6402.19.90, HTSUS.


Are the rubber golf boots more specifically described as sports footwear than as waterproof footwear?


The competing provisions are as follows:

1. 6401 Waterproof footwear with outer soles and uppers of rubber or plastics, the uppers of which are neither fixed to the sole nor assembled by stitching, riveting, nailing, screwing, plugging or similar processes:

Other footwear:

6401.92 Covering the ankle but not covering the knee:


6401.92.90 Other . . . . . . . . . 37.5%

2. 6402 Other footwear with outer soles and uppers of rubber or plastics:
Sports footwear:

Having uppers of which over 90 percent of the external surface area (including any accessories or reinforcements such as those mentioned in note 4(a) to this chapter) is rubber or plastics
(except footwear having foxing or a foxing-like band applied or molded at the sole and over-lapping the upper and except footwear 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)


6402.19.90 Valued over $12/pr. . . . 20%

Classification of goods under the HTSUS 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.

GRI 3(a), HTSUS, which is relevant here, reads as follows:

3. When, by application of rule 2(b) or for any other reason, goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, classification shall be effected as follows:

(a) The heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description. . . .

We agree that the boots are sports footwear. However, following GRI 3(a), HTSUS, supra, the provision for "waterproof footwear . . ." in subheading 6401.92.90, HTSUS, is clearly a more specific provision for these boots than the provision in subheading 6402.19.90, HTSUS, for "other footwear with outer soles and uppers of rubber or plastics." It is also clear that these boots meet the tariff description of "waterproof," and that the protestant does not challenge this determination (although he only admits that they are "protective"). Inasmuch as the rubber golf boots are waterproof, their classification under subheading 6401.92.90, as waterproof footwear is mandated.


The rubber golf boots are dutiable at the rate of 37.5% ad valorem under subheading 6401.92.90, HTSUS.

The protest should be denied. A copy of this decision should be attached to the Customs Form 19 and provided to the protestant as part of the notice of action on the protest.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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