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NY B85454

May 15, 1997

CLA-2-64:RR:NC:TA:346 B85454


TARIFF NO.: 6406.99.9000 ; 6404.19.3515

Mr. Mai Pham
22 Hartwell Dr.
Foxboro, MA 02035

RE: The tariff classification of footwear insoles and slippers from Vietnam.

Dear Mr. Pham:

In your letter dated May 6, 1997, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The submitted items are described as follows:

Item #1 - A pair of removable shoe insoles. The insole (size 5) is approximately 3/16 inch thick and consists of a quilted cotton fabric socklining layer sewn on top of a non-woven fabric (you indicate 65% cotton & 35% polyester) bottom layer, with the two textile layers incasing a paperboard stiffener and a filling of powdered cinnamon. The packaging states that this insole, cushions the bottom of shoes, helps absorb foot perspiration, and "destroys odor with ... cinnamon powder." We consider this textile insole with the powdered aromatic cinnamon filler, to constitute a composite good in which neither the textile materials, nor the cinnamon powder filler gives this composite item its essential character.

General Rule of Interpretation 3(c), Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, states that when different materials make up a composite item and no single material can be said to account for the essential character of that composite item, then the item " shall be classified under the heading which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration". In the headings under consideration, parts of footwear which are other than wood, textiles, rubber or plastics, or leather (such as powdered cinnamon) would be the last to appear.

Item #2 - A pair of open toe, open heel slippers, with velvet polyester textile uppers and stitched-on, 1/4 inch thick plastic outer soles. The slippers also have odorous cinnamon powder filled sockliner insoles.

The applicable subheading for Item #1, the insoles, will be 6406.99.9000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for parts of footwear, which are other than uppers or parts thereof, and which are essentially of other than wood, textile, rubber and/or plastics, or leather materials. The rate of duty will be 45 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for Item #2, the slippers, will be 6404.19.3515, HTS, which provides for footwear, in which the upper's external surface is predominately textile materials (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); in which the outer sole's external surface is predominately rubber and/or plastics; which is not "athletic" footwear; which is not designed to be a protection against water, oil, or cold or inclement weather; in which the upper's external surface is still 50% or less leather even after every leather accessory and reinforcement present is included as part of the upper's external surface; which has open toes or open heels; and which is 10% or more by weight of rubber and/or plastics. The rate of duty will be 66 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.


Paul K. Schwartz
Chief, Textiles & Apparel Branch

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