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HQ 955222

January 14, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 955222 DFC


TARIFF NO.: 6406.99.1540; 6307.90.9986

Stephen J. Leahy, Esq.
Leahy & Ward
Attorneys at Law
63 Commercial Wharf
Boston, Massachusetts 02110

RE: Insoles; Cambrelle cover and strips; Footwarmer; Composite goods

Dear Mr. Leahy:

This is in reference to your letter dated September 7, 1993, to the District Director of Customs in Boston, Massachusetts, on behalf of Hotronic U.S.A. Inc., concerning the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), of a cambrelle cover and strips, for a footwarmer. Your letter, together with the samples and descriptive literature, has been referred to this office for a response.


You describe the merchandise as a cambrelle cover and strips which are for use with the Hotronic footwarmer. The cambrelle cover and strips are made from nylon. The cover is in the shape of the sole of a foot. It measures approximately 12-1/4 inches in length and 4 inches in width at the midpoint. The strip is in the shape of a rectangle rounded at one end. It measures 9 inches by 1.4 inches.

One side of the cambrelle cover has a plastic sheet covering an adhesive. You state that the heating element is placed inside the footwear, the cambrelle cover is cut to the correct shape and size, the plastic sheet is removed and the cambrelle cover is placed over the heating element, adhesive side down, to hold the heating element in place. The cambrelle strips are used to cover the wire from the heating element to the battery to protect against fraying.


Whether, for tariff purposes, the cambrelle cover and strips qualify as composite goods or are they separately classifiable.


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA 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 2(b), HTSUSA, provides in part that "[t]he classification of goods consisting of more than one material or substance shall be according to the principles of Rule 3."

GRI 3, HTSUSA, provides in pertinent part, 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.
However, when two or more headings each refer to part only of the materials or substances contained in mixed or composite goods . . . those headings are to be regarded as equally specific in relation to those goods, even if one of them gives a more complete or precise description of the goods.

(b) Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, . . . shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character insofar as this criterion is applicable.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN) to the HTSUSA, although not dispositive, should be looked to for the proper interpretation of the HTSUSA. See 54 FR 35128 (August 23, 1989). EN (IX) to GRI 3(b), at page 4, reads as follows:

(IX) For the purposes of this Rule, composite goods made up of different components shall be taken to mean not only those in which the components are attached to each other to form a practically inseparable whole but also those with separable components, provided these components are adapted one to the other and are mutually complementary and that together they form a whole which would not normally be offered for sale in separate parts.

The cambrelle cover and strips do not meet the requirements set forth above for being considered composite goods because they are not adapted one to the other and are not mutually complementary. Consequently, they are classified separately.

It is our opinion that the cambrelle cover meets the description of "removable insoles . . . and similar articles" in heading 6406, HTSUSA, noting that they look like insoles or sock liners and function as such. Although you state that the cambrelle cover serves no function except to hold the heating element in place, we are aware that cambrelle is widely used in footwear linings and removable insoles because it is unusually good at wicking away moisture and drying out, which is important in keeping the foot comfortable.

It is our position that the cambrelle cover is separately classifiable under subheading 6406.99.1540, HTSUSA, which provides for removable insoles and similar articles, of textile materials of man-made fibers, other. The applicable rate of duty for this provision is 17% ad valorem. The applicable textile category is 659.

It is our position that the cambrelle strips are classifiable under subheading 6307.90.9986, HTSUSA, which provides for other made up textile articles, other. The applicable rate of duty for this provision is 7% ad valorem.

You have also requested a ruling as to the tariff classification of a piece of cambrelle identical in construction to the one submitted but in the shape of a rectangle measuring approximately 15 inches by 5 inches. The rectangular piece of cambrelle has a piece of plastic covering the adhesive side of the cambrelle described above.

We are unable to issue a ruling as to the tariff classification of this merchandise based on the limited amount of information before us. It is suggested that you provide a sample of the merchandise in its condition as imported. Also, we need information as to what processes this merchandise is subjected to after importation. For example, whether the cambrelle goes to a manufacturer for processing and if so, its condition when it reaches the consumer. If the merchandise does go directly to the consumer, what processing has to be accomplished by the consumer to render the product usable.


The cambrelle cover is separately classifiable under subheading 6406.99.1540, HTSUSA.

The cambrelle strips are separately classifiable under subheading 6307.90.9986, HTSUSA.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, the visa and quota category requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected. Since part categories are the result of international bilateral agreements which are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes, to obtain the most current information available, we suggest you check, close to the time of shipment, the status Report on Current Import quotas (Restraint Levels), an issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is updated weekly and is available at your local Customs office.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories, you should contact your local Customs office prior to the importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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