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HQ 956927

September 28 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 956927 DFC


TARIFF NO.: 6404.19.20

Mr. Kumen B. Davis
Chief Operations Officer
Northern Outfitters
1083 North State Street
Orem, Utah 84057

RE: Footwear, protective; Boots, protective, unfinished

Dear Mr. Davis:

In a letter dated August 15, 1994, you inquired as to the tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) of certain unfinished Arctic boots. A sample of the textile upper outer shell and an unfinished boot was submitted for examination. You have also requested a determination as to whether the components of U.S. origin which have been sent to Canada to be made into unfinished Arctic boots can be considered U.S. components that have merely undergone an assembly operation in Canada and are being returned to the U.S., with all of the material costs qualifying under subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, as non-dutiable. A separate response will be sent to you regarding applicability of subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, to the merchandise.


The sample unfinished Arctic boot has an upper of textile material and a sole of rubber/plastics. It measures approximately 17 inches in height and has a drawstring closure along the top line of the shaft and a series of straps encircling the upper which serve to tighten the fit of the boot.


What is the classification of the unfinished Arctic boot?


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 heading or notes do not otherwise require, according to [the remaining GRI's]." 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(a), HTSUS, reads, as follows:

2. (a) Any reference in a heading to an article shall be taken to include a reference to that article incomplete or unfinished, provided that, as entered, the incomplete or unfinished article has the essential character of the complete or finished article. It shall also include a reference to that article complete or finished (or falling to be classified as complete or finished by virtue of this rule) entered unassembled or disassembled.

In its condition as imported, the unfinished Arctic boot has the essential character of protective footwear. Therefore, it is classifiable under subheading 6404.19.20, HTSUS, which provides for footwear with outer soles of rubber, plastics, leather or composition leather and uppers of textile materials, other, 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.


The unfinished Arctic boot is dutiable at the rate of 37.5% ad valorem under subheading 6404.19.20, HTSUS. Articles classifiable under this provision which are products of Canada are entitled to a 15% ad valorem rate of duty.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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