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NY B85806

June 6, 1997

CLA-2-64:RR:NC:347 B85806


TARIFF NO.: 6403.91.90, 9802.00.8040

Ms. Janet S. Cool
Daniel Green
Dolgeville, NY 13329-1398

RE: The tariff classification of footwear assembled in the Dominican Republic.

Dear Ms. Cool:

In your letter dated May 14, 1997 you requested a classification ruling for a woman's shearling boot which you identify as style number 82665.

You propose to ship to your assembler in the Dominican Republic, 100 percent USA origin components from your plant in Dolgeville, New York. You state that the components are shipped in a condition ready for assembly and will not enter the commerce of any other country. Assembly of the boot will be accomplished by various stitching and cementing processes. The unfinished boot will be returned to your plant in Dolgeville, New York for finishing operations. You state that you are seeking a ruling on various issues. the first issue is to determine the proper harmonized tariff classification for this type of semi-completed footwear. The second matter deals with Subchapter II of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, (HTS), U.S. Note 2(b). You ask if this semi-completed footwear will be subject to duty and treated as foreign upon importation? If not, will the footwear need to be marked to indicate the country of origin? And the last matter of concern to you deals with the applicability of the merchandise processing fee (MPF)described in 19 C.F.R. 24.23.

General Rule of Interpretation 2(a) to the HTS, states that any reference in a heading to an article shall be taken to include a reference to that article incomplete or unfinished, provided that, as entered, the incomplete or unfinished article has the esential character of the complete or finished article. The sample submitted with your ruling request is a boot with an outersole of rubber or plastic and an upper of leather.

The applicable subheading for boot identified as style number 82665 will be 6403.91.90, HTS, which provides for footwear with outer soles of rubber, plastic, leather or composition leather and uppers of leather, other, covering the ankle, for other persons. The general rate of duty will be 10 percent ad valorem.

Subchapter II, U.S. Note 2(b), HTS, states that no article (except a textile article, apparel article, or petroleum, or any product derived from petroleum, provided for in heading 2709 or 2710) may be treated as a foreign article, or as subject to duty, if--

(i) the article is--

(A) assembled or processed in whole of fabricated components that are a product of the United States, or

(B) processed in whole of ingredients (other than water) that are a product of the United States, in a beneficiary country; and

(ii) neither the fabricated components, materials or ingredients, after exportation from the United States, nor the article itself, before importation into the United States, enters the commerce of any foreign country other than a beneficiary country.

The Dominican Republic is a beneficiary country for purposes of this paragraph. If the imported footwear satisfies the requirements of Subchapter II, U.S. Note 2(b), HTS, it will also meet the exception to marking requirements of 19 C.F.R. 134.32(m) which exempts products of the United States exported and returned from country of origin marking.

It is the opinion of the U.S. Customs Service that all articles qualifying for duty-free treatment under Note 2(b) are fully exempt from the MPF, even those entered under subheading 9802.00.8040, HTS.

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

A copy of this ruling letter 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 this ruling, contact National Import Specialist, Richard Foley at (212) 466-5890.


Paul K. Schwartz
Chief, Textiles and Apparel Branch National Commodity

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