United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1995 HQ Rulings > HQ 956320 - HQ 956470 > HQ 956328

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 956328

August 5, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 956328 DFC


TARIFF NO.: 6406.10.50

Mr. Gary March
Mr. Rod Boast
White's Boots
6116 North Freya
Spokane, WA 99207

RE: Footwear, parts: Boot bottoms; Formed uppers; NYRL 895469

Dear Messrs. March and Boast:

In a letter dated April 14, 1994, you asked us to reconsider New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 895469 issued to you on April 5, 1994, concerning the tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of certain rubber/plastic boot bottoms produced in Korea. Samples were submitted for examination.


The samples, identified as styles AB8811-14 and UL9811-12, are unfinished vulcanized rubber footwear bottoms with midsoles but, no outsoles. A shaft or collar must be added to make them usable as finished footwear. Further, since the lowest piece under the foot is completely smooth and lacks a heel, additional processing is needed. You have informed us by phone that this item can be completed only by attaching an outer sole.

Three of the four boot bottoms covered by NYRL 895469 differ from the instant samples in that they possessed outer soles. The fourth boot bottom, like sample styles AB8811-14 and UL9811-12, had no outer sole. However, NYRL 895469 did not provide a classification ruling on the fourth boot bottom due to the lack of information as to how much additional material and labor was necessary to produce an item saleable to consumers. Inasmuch as that ruling has no bearing on the classification of the instant boot bottoms, NYRL 895469 is not being reconsidered. Instead, we will consider your letter of April 14, 1994, as a request for a new ruling.
You have also enclosed a copy of a letter [file number incomplete] from the Area Director of Customs, New York Seaport Area, dated June 29, 1983, in which it was held that a rubber boot shell, identified as style 8811 [lacking an outsole, heel and upper], was classified under the provision for articles not specially provided for, of rubber or plastics, other, other parts of footwear in item 774.50, Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS, the precursor to the HTSUS). The applicable column 1 rate of duty was 7.7% ad valorem. As a product of Korea that ruling stated the rubber boot shell was entitled to duty free treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) upon compliance with all applicable regulations.

Decisions under the TSUS are not dispositive in interpreting the HTSUS. However, on a case-by-case basis they should be considered instructive in interpreting the HTSUS, particularly where the nomenclature previously interpreted in those decisions remains unchanged and no dissimilar interpretation is required by the text of the HTSUS. H. Conf, Rep. No. 576, p.550.

The June 29, 1983, NY ruling letter no longer controls the tariff classification of the rubber boot bottom in issue because of changes in footwear nomenclature under the HTSUS. Specifically, Schedule 7, Part 1, Subpart A, TSUS, which covered footwear, did not contain any provisions for parts of footwear while Chapter 64, HTSUS, covering footwear, provides for parts of footwear under heading 6406, HTSUS.


Whether the boot bottoms lacking outer soles are classifiable under Heading 6406, HTSUS, as parts of footwear.


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]."

Classification of the boot bottoms under Heading 6401, HTSUS, as waterproof footwear with outer soles and uppers of rubber or plastics is precluded because they lack outer soles.

It is our opinion that the boot bottoms in issue are properly classifiable under subheading 6406.10.50, HTSUS, which provides for parts of footwear (including uppers whether or not attached to soles other than outer soles), uppers and parts thereof, other than stiffeners, formed uppers, other, other.


Styles AB8811-14 and UL9811-12 are dutiable at the rate of 37.5% ad valorem under subheading 6406.10.50, HTSUS. Currently, merchandise produced in Korea is not eligible for special tariff treatment under the GSP because Korea is no longer a designated beneficiary developing country.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: