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NY 818448

February 22,1996

CLA-2-64:RR:NC:TP:346 818448


TARIFF NO.: 6406.10.6500

Mr. Francis A. Smith
Pioneer Shoe Corp.
10788 Monte Vista Ave.
Ontario, CA 91762

RE: The tariff classification of a leather upper from China.

Dear Mr Smith:

In your letter received January 23, 1996 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The submitted sample, your indicated Style PSC-02, is a stitched leather high-top hiking shoe upper, with a padded tongue, a padded ankle collar, six metal eyelets and a sewn-in textile underfoot that has a 1 1/4 inch wide circular opening cut out of the bottom toward the front. Both the front toe area and the heel have glued-in plastic stiffeners which have been shaped, presumably by heat, and have attained much of the form of the finished shoe.

The applicable subheading for this item, as described, will be 6406.10.6500, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for shoe uppers or the parts thereof, which are less than formed uppers with insoles which would cover all or most of the wearer's foot; which are not stiffeners, boot protectors, ornaments, laces (including shoe laces), buttons, pompons, or other trimmings, or, in general, most parts which could be used in articles besides footwear; in which the upper's external surface is predominately leather (note that an accessory or reinforcement on top of another material is not part of the upper's external surface, but the material hidden underneath is). The rate of duty will be 2.2 percent ad valorem.

You state, and we agree, that this shoe upper with a substantial opening in its bottom, and minus an outer sole, is exempt from country of origin marking requirements. In general, if an imported article will be used in manufacture undergoes a process which results in a substantial transformation of the article, then the article itself is excepted from marking and only the outermost container of the imported article must be marked (19 CRF 134.35).

Questions regarding the acceptability of marking the finished shoe with a label indicating "Assembled in the U.S.A. with imported components" must be decided by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Division of Enforcement. The FTC has primary responsibility under statutes when a "Made in USA" claim can be made. Similarly, we believe, they must decide on the appropriateness of this proposed marking statement for your finished footwear product.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 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 212-466-5689.


Roger J. Silvestri

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