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NY 814815

October 03, 1995

CLA-2-64:R:N3:346 814815


TARIFF NO.: 6406.10.6500

Mr. Robert C. Thompson
W.J. Byrnes & Co. of Los Angeles, Inc.
P.O. Box 90595
Los Angeles, CA 90009

RE: The tariff classification of a footwear upper from Korea.

Dear Mr. Thompson:

In your letter dated September 13, 1995, on behalf of Van's, Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The submitted sample is an upper of a mid-ankle height athletic shoe, which you identify as model "Half Cab". It is approximately 5 inches high, has an external surface composed entirely of suede leather, has not been lasted and has a completely open bottom. It also has a sewn-in padded textile tongue.

The applicable subheading for this shoe upper will be 6406.10.6500, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for footwear uppers or the parts thereof, which are less than formed uppers with insoles which would cover all or most of the bottom of the wearer's foot, and in which the upper's external surface is predominately leather. The rate of duty will be 3 percent ad valorem.

We note that this sample upper has a sewn-on textile label at the top center portion of its tongue displaying the trademarked name "Vans", and the words "Professional Skateboard Shoe", followed by the statement, " Made in U.S.A."

It is evident that this unlasted shoe upper with a completely open bottom will be substantially changed by further processing in the US to produce the finished footwear. However, due to the presence of the "Made in U.S.A." reference, the usual country of origin marking exemption for imports substantially changed in the US does not apply per CR134.36-b. Since the importer, Van's Inc. or another maker, will, of necessity be the "ultimate purchaser" of these uppers and since they are clearly unsalable at retail, the actual country of origin marking "Made In Korea" need not be in a location or of a permanence that it will be seen by the purchaser of the finished footwear. The individual marking of these uppers in this manner ensures that any maker who may purchase them from the importer, even if resale is not his current plan, will not be misled.

We note that the Office of Regulations and Rulings(ORR), Washinton D.C., has ruled that marking of the cartons in conjunction with certifications of knowledge of the origin of the shipment was acceptable in circumstances similar to, but distinguishable from , yours. If you object to marking this upper as indicated above, you may wish to pursue the possibility of a similar exemption from CR 134.36-b directly with ORR.

Regarding the "Made in U.S.A.", whether or not the subject upper may be so marked is a question that must be directed to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Division of Enforcement. Although the country of origin of the finished shoe will be the US under the Customs statutes, the FTC has the primary responsibility under statutes which require the identification of certain foreign components if a "Made in USA" claim is made. It is clear that the reference here is to the finished shoe. You must submit a copy of your inquiry to the FTC with their reply, if any, to the responsible Customs officer at the port of entry prior to the release of your shipment(s).

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

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist James Sheridan at 212-466-5889.


Roger J. Silvestri

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