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February 26, 1999

CLA-2-64:RR:NC:TA:347 D84622


TARIFF NO. 6403.99.60, 6403.99.90

Mr. John B. Pellegrini
Ross & Hardies
65 East 55th Street
New York, NY 10022-3219

RE: The tariff classification of footwear made in the Far East.

Dear Mr. Pellegrini:

In your letter dated November 9, 1998 you requested a classification ruling on behalf of your client, adidas America, Inc. You have submitted a shoe which you describe as a baseball shoe with a leather upper and rubber/plastic outsole. You state that the footwear, identified as “Dugout” will be produced in a variety of countries including Indonesia, Thailand and China. You further state that the uppers are all leather. There are two oval inserts on both sides of the shoe which are made of a material which you call “texus leather”. You describe the material as split leather to which a polyester fabric with a polyurethane film backing has been laminated. You state that since “texus leather” is a combination of leather, plastic and fabric it is necessary to determine the material which imparts the essential character of the item pursuant to HTS General Rules of Interpretation 3(b). The portion of the footwear sample submitted with this ruling request which is comprised of “texus leather” has textile material on the external surface which completely obscures the underlying leather. In situations where more than one layer of material comprise the upper of a shoe, the material which comprises the outermost layer will generally be considered “external surface”. In addition, the leather backing of “Texus leather” is not visible on the surface of the shoe.

The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI’s) set forth the manner in which merchandise is to be classified under the HTSUS. GRI 1 requires that classification be determined first according to the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes and, unless otherwise required, according to the remaining GRI’s taken in order. HTSUS Chapter 64 covers footwear and footwear parts. Note 4 (a) to chapter 64 provides that for purposes of this chapter, the material of the upper shall be taken to be the constituent material having the greatest external surface area, no account being taken of accessories or reinforcements such as ankle patches, edging, ornamentation, buckles, tabs, eyelet stays or similar attachments. If the upper consists of two or more materials, classsification is determined by the constituent material which has the greatest external surface area. In this regard, the material which has the greatest external surface for style “Dugout” is leather.

While the classification for style “Dugout” will not be affected by the presence of the oval vamp inserts which are made of “texus leather” you have requested that we rule the upper is entirely of leather including the oval vamp inserts. Note 3(b) to chapter 64 provides that for purposes of this chapter, the term “leather” refers to the goods of heaadings 4104 to 4109. We disagree with your implication that footwear or footwear parts made of “texus leather” should be classified as leather under GRI 3 if the layer of material exposed to the external surface of the footwear upper is textile and not leather.. While the essential character of the material itself, if imported as is, may or may not be imparted by the leather, the material of “texus leather”which comprises the external surface for purposes of footwear classification is textile. Footwear and footwear parts manufacturesd with external surface areas of “texus leather” with the textile layer on the outside will be classified as textile.

The next issue which must be addressed is whether or not style “Dugout” is classified as sports footwear. HTS chapter 64 subheading note 1. States that for the purposes of subheadings 6402.12, 6402.19, 6403.12, 6403.19 and 6404.11, the expresssion “sports footwear” applies only to: (a) Footwear which is designed for a sporting activity and has, or has the provision for the attachment of spikes, sprigs, cleats, stops, clips, bars or the like;

(b) Skating boots, ski-boots and cross-country ski footwear, snowboard boots, wrestling boots, boxing boots and cycling shoes.

The sample of style “Dugout’ which you provided with this ruling request features a rubber/plastics outersole with a molded pattern of 25 flat, disc-like projections of approxemately 1/8" in length and widths of either 7/16" or 9/16". It is the opinion of this office that these projections are not spikes, sprigs, cleats, stops, clips, bars or the like as described in note 1(a). In this regard, style “Dugout” is not “sports footwear” for purposes of chapter 64..

The applicable subheading for style “Dugout” if valued over $12/pair will be 6402.99.90, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, (HTS) which provides for footwear with outer soles and uppers of rubber or plastics, not covering the ankle, other, other, valued over $12/pair. The rate of duty will be 20 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 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.


Robert Swierupski

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