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NY 801890

October 03, 1994

CLA-2-64:S:N:N8:346 801890


TARIFF NO.: 6406.10.3500 ; 6406.10.9040

Mr. Michael Skidmore
Tower Group International Inc.
P.O. Box 192
Boston, MA 02101-3022

RE: The tariff classification of a shoe upper and a shoe tongue from China.

Dear Mr. Skidmore:

In your letter dated September 2, 1994, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The submitted sample, an athletic shoe that has a slip-lasted textile upper with plastic and non- woven textile accessories and reinforcements, and a cemented-on plastic/rubber bottom, you state, will not be imported in its completed format. Instead, your inquiry concerns the classification of only this shoe's fully assembled upper, imported in the first instance, without its tongue, and in the second, imported packaged together with a complete but unassembled and unattached tongue. Additionally, you also ask for the classification of cut-to-shape, unassembled shoe tongues when these tongues are imported separately.

The fully assembled, slip-lasted textile upper, with or without its tongue (or the component pieces of an unassembled tongue) but otherwise complete with all its vinyl and non-woven accessories and reinforcements intact, is considered to be a formed upper. It not only has a completely closed bottom, but the heel portion has been shaped by the addition of a plastic inside counter molded on a backpart lasting machine. The upper on this sample shoe has undergone shaping by a process that is more than simple closing at the bottom.

With regard to these shoe uppers being imported together and packed with an equal number of "three-part unassembled tongues", the uppers and tongues are considered composite goods and will be classified under the subheading of "formed uppers". No quota or visa requirements apply to this subheading.

The cut-to-shape parts of the three piece tongue, when imported separate of the uppers, you state, will consist of a top piece sheet of a 1/8 inch thick foamed plastic sandwiched between layers of knit polyester and tricot
nylon textile fabric, a urethane foam middle piece and a backing piece of nylon and polyester tricot textile mesh. This unassembled shoe tongue is considered to be a "composite article" made up of both textile and plastic components, with the textile components imparting to this item (a foam padded textile tongue) its "essential character".

The applicable subheading for this shoe upper (with or without tongue) will be 6406.10.3500, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for formed uppers, which have been shaped by more than a simple closing at the bottom; in which the upper's external surface is predominately textile materials (note that an accessory or reinforcement stitched on top of another material is not part of the upper's external surface, but the material hidden underneath is); and which is valued over $6.50 but not over $12.00 per pair (approximately $8-$9, per your information). The rate of duty will be $0.90 per pair plus 20 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the shoe tongue by itself will be 6406.10.9040, HTS, which provides for parts of uppers which will not be a part of the upper's external surface; which are essentially of textile materials; and in which, of the textile materials present, the man-made fibers weigh more than the cotton fibers, the wool and/or fine animal hair fibers or any other single type of fiber. The rate of duty will be 9 percent ad valorem.

The shoe tongue falls within textile category designation 669. Based upon international textile trade agreements, products of China are subject to visa requirements and quota restraints.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota 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 that you check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report On Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an internal issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is available for inspection at your local Customs office.

The samples are being returned as you requested.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Jean F. Maguire
Area Director

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