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NY C82466

January 12, 1998

CLA-2-64:RR:NC:TP:347 C82466


TARIFF NO.: 6402.99.60 - 6402.99.90, 9811.00.60

Mr. John B. Pellegrini
Ross & Hardies
Park Avenue Tower
65 East 55th Street
New York, N.Y. 10022

RE: Eligibility of footwear samples for duty-free entry

Dear Mr. Pellegrini:

In your letter dated December 9, 1997, written on behalf of your client, adidas America Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling.

You state that adidas America, Inc. plans to import certain athletic-type footwear from China, Indonesia, Korea, Thailand, and other locations in the Far East which will be used in the U.S. for soliciting orders for products of these foreign countries. You have submitted two representative samples of the footwear. The footwear appears to be composed of a rubber/plastic outer sole, and a textile material that completely covers the upper with rubber/plastic overlays which have been added over portions of the textile material. Since these rubber/plastic overlays have been lasted under and cemented to the sole, and contribute to the structure of the shoe, they will be counted as surface area. Visual examination of the shoes indicates that the rubber/plastic portion constitutes the greatest external surface area of the upper (ESAU). The shoes have the word "SAMPLE" stenciled on the inside rear quarter approximately three quarters of an inch from the lowest point of the topline. Below this, "NOT FOR RESALE" is stenciled approximately an inch and a half below the lowest point of the topline. You state that the letters are approximately 5/16 of an inch in height. You also state that the subject samples are imported in full pairs and that they will be distributed to the company's sales force in half-pairs for the purpose of taking orders. When returned, the half-pairs are destroyed. In addition, the samples are also used for the production of promotional materials, catalogs and the like.

Subheading 9811.00.60, HTSUS, provides for the free entry of samples which are either valued at less than $1 each, or marked, torn, perforated, or otherwise treated so that they are unsuitable for sale or for use otherwise than as samples, to be used in the U.S. only for soliciting orders for products of foreign countries. In HRL 555552 of August 10, 1990, it was ruled that nonquota footwear samples may be treated by drilling a 1/4-inch hole in the sole or marked with an indelible stamp "Sample Not For Resale" in a readily visible place, provided the District Director is satisfied that such treatment is sufficient to limit their use only for samples. One of the representative samples submitted is marked indelibly with the legend "SAMPLE" "NOT FOR RESALE" however, one of the samples submitted does not meet the requirements of this provision since the word "Sample" has been removed by rubbing and is not indelible for marking purposes. This inconsistency will be left to the discretion of the District Director at the port of entry to resolve by examination of the shipment.

The applicable subheading for the athletic shoes will be 6402.99.60 - 6402.99.90, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), depending on the price per pair, which provides for footwear with outer soles and uppers of rubber or plastic, not covering the ankle, not having uppers of which over 90 percent of the external surface area is rubber or plastic, which has a foxing-like band.

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 Richard Foley at 212-466-5890.


Robert B. Swierupski

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