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HQ 954311

August 30, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 954311 DFC


TARIFF NO.: 6401.92.90

District Director
United States Customs Service
1 East Bay Street
Savannah, GA 31401

RE: Protest 1704-92-100423; Footwear, sports; Boots, riding

Dear Sir:

The following is our decision regarding the request for further review of Protest no. 1704-92-100423 dated December 14, 1992, concerning the tariff classification of rubber riding boots produced in Malaysia. A sample pair of the riding boots, style HH1228, were submitted for examination.


The horseback riding boots in issue have natural rubber uppers and outer soles. They have a small protuberance on the back above the heel which serves to help keep a removable metal spur with a textile strap in place.

The entry covering the riding boots was liquidated on September 18, 1992, under subheading 6402.99.30, HTSUS. The protest was timely filed on December 14, 1992. The protestant maintains that these boots are properly classifiable under subheading 6402.19.10, HTSUS.


Can the riding boots be considered "sports footwear" for tariff purposes?


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:

6402.19.10 Other:
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 overlapping 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) . . . . . . . . . . . 6%

3. 6402 Other footwear with outer soles and uppers of rubber or plastics:
Other footwear:
6402.99 Other:


6402.99.30 Footwear with open toes or open heels; footwear of the slip-on type, that is held to the foot without the use of laces or buckles or other fasteners . . . . 37.5%

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.

Protestant asserts that the riding boots qualify for classification as "sports" footwear for the following reasons:

1. This product is being sold to and by a riding and saddlery company.

2. Horseback riding is a sport.

3. The product meets the requirements for sports footwear as defined in subheading note 1(a) of Chapter 64. The footwear is designed for the sporting activity of horseback riding and has provisions for the attachment of spurs.

We agree with protestant that horseback riding is a sport. However, the riding boots are more specifically described under the provision for waterproof footwear with outer soles and uppers of rubber or plastics in heading 6401, HTSUS, than under the provision for other footwear with outer soles and uppers of rubber or plastics in heading 6402, HTSUS.

Subheading note 1(a) to Chapter 64, HTSUS, reads as follows:

1. For the purposes of subheading 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;

It should be noted that the riding boots do not fall within the purview of subheading note 1(a) to Chapter 64, HTSUS, inasmuch as the protuberance on the back of the boots is not equivalent to a "provision for the attachment of spikes, sprigs, cleats, stops, clips, bars or the like." The enumerated items all provide for better traction while the purpose of the protuberance is to support a spur used for controlling a horse.


The riding boots are classifiable under subheading 6401.92.90, HTSUS, with duty at the rate of 37.5% ad valorem.

Since the rate of duty under the classification indicated above is the same as the liquidated rate, you should deny the protest in full. 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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