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NY A86641

September 9, 1996

CLA-2-64:RR:NC:TP:346 A86641


TARIFF NO.: 6405.20.9015

Ms. Sandy M. Rickert
E. Besler and Co.
P.O. Box 66361
Chicago, IL 60666-0361

RE: The tariff classification of a slipper sock from Taiwan.

Dear Ms. Rickert:

In your letter dated August 9, 1996, on behalf of LTD Commodities Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The submitted sample, identified as a pair of "Thermal Thinsulate Foot Gloves", is a bright red colored bootie-type slipper, with a man-made textile upper and a separately applied textile outer sole. The upper consists of separately stitched together textile panels with inside facing stitched seams, a contrasting white elasticized textile instep panel and an elasticized sock-top ankle collar. It also features a "Thinsulate" lining for thermal insulation.

The advertising literature that you provide states that this item can be worn inside a boot as a "boot sock", or by itself as house slippers. The probability, therefore, of buying and wearing this item as an insulating outdoor sock also allows for the possibility of its classification as an article of hosiery in HTS Chapter 61. We, however,note that because of its construction, this item is significantly different from an ordinary sock, which, although almost always capable of use as an ultra-"casual" house slipper and sometimes so used, is less abrasion resistant and more absorbent of foot sweat than this item. It is not a shoe or boot part; it will be put on the foot rather than into the shoe or boot. In accordance with the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), since this item merits classification equally as a sock or as a slipper, GRI 3(c) states that classification will be "...under the heading which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration".

Therefore, the applicable subheading for the "Thermal Thinsulate Foot Gloves", as described above, will be 6405.20.9015, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for footwear, in which the outer sole's external surface is not predominately rubber, plastics, leather, or composition leather; in which the upper's external surface is predominately textile materials; in which the upper, by weight, predominately consists of fibers other than vegetable fibers or wool (linings, accessories and reinforcements not included); and which has a line of demarcation between the sole and the upper. The rate of duty will be 12.5 percent ad valorem.

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 212-466-5889.


Roger J. Silvestri

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