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NY A88483

November 14, 1996



TARIFF NO.: 6406.10.6500

Mr. Eric Smithweiss
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz and Silverman 245 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10167-0002

RE: The tariff classification of leather uppers from the Dominican Republic (DO), HTS General Note 7

Dear Mr Smithweiss:

In your letter, dated 10-21-96, you requested a tariff classification and Caribbean Basin status ruling.

Both items, labeled Holland and Finland via paper stickers, are leather, open-backed uppers stitched to leather socklinings. You indicate that the leather material is the product neither of the USA nor, we assume, any CBERA entity. The leather will be cut to shape in DO and then stitched together. This stitching gives the socklining a pronounced concave shape. There are no stiffeners (box toe, etc.) added to the leather upper to give it shape. We agree, based on our examination and your statements, that, at most, "de minimis" shaping of this item has taken place other than that for the simple closing of its bottom. The attachment of the clog bottom in the USA will also necessarily require substantial additional shaping of this upper.

The applicable subheading for both uppers will be 6406.10.6500, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for, inter alia, shoe uppers which are less than formed uppers and in which the upper's external surface is predominately leather. The duty rate will be 2.2 percent.

Articles classifiable under subheading 6406.10.6500, HTS, which are products of the Dominican Republic are entitled to duty free treatment under the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA), HTS General Note 7, upon compliance with all applicable regulations.

You specifically asked whether the cost of the leather will be counted for the purposes of the 35 percent rule in HTS General Note 7-b-i-B.

We agree that NYRL 806444, dated 3-1-95, which did count the cost of the leather in a similar upper, is controlling. We note that the third example in CR 10.196 indicates that a leather hide tanned, cut to shape and then assembled to other components counts towards the 35 percent. However, the example does not state that those steps are all necessary for that conclusion, and the cutting to shape of sheet materials and assembling them into an upper is sufficient, noting HRL 555113, 10-26-89.

Since the cost of the leather is included along with the DO labor, etc., we agree that the 35 percent test is easily met even without going into the status of the buckle and velcro in each upper.

We assume that shipments of these uppers will not be individually labelled either Holland or Finland. If so, the misleading origin statements would need to be addressed.

You requested that we return your samples. They are being returned in a separate mailing.

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 J. Sheridan at 212-466-5889.


Roger J. Silvestri

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