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December 31, 1998

CLA-2-64:K:TC:A3:D23 D85063


TARIFF NO.: 6404.20

Mr. Leonard L. Rosenberg
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.
5200 Blue Lagoon Drive
Miami, FL 33126-2022

RE: The tariff classification of a shoe from Spain.

Dear Mr. Rosenberg:

In your letter dated December 1, 1998, on behalf of your client, Stuart Weitzman & Co., you requested a classification ruling at the 6-digit subheading based on a woman’s shoe. You indicated that the focus of your request is the sole material.

You included a sample and described it as a woman’s pump with a man-made textile upper, a wood heel with a plastic cap, and a leather sole. Your letter goes on to state that inserted into the leather sole are 41 plastic dots. The dots are not raised, but recessed into the leather sole. These recessed dots range from approximately one-fifth to one-third of an inch in diameter. While the outer sole contains 41 recessed plastic dots, the material having the greatest surface area contact with the ground is leather. While the leather outer sole of the pump also consists of recessed plastic dots, they are treated, for tariff purposes, as footwear with leather outer soles in accordance with note 4(b) to chapter 64.

Classification of goods under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI’s). GRI 1 provides that “classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, and, provided such heading or notes do not otherwise require, according to [the remaining GRI’s taken in order].” In other words, classification is governed first by the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes. Note 4(b) to chapter 64, HTSUS, reads as follows:

4. Subject to note 3 to this chapter:

(B) The constituent material of the outer sole shall be taken to be the material having the greatest surface area in contact with the ground, no account being taken of accessories or reinforcements such as spikes, bars, nails, protectors or similar attachments.

In view of the foregoing, the applicable 6-digit subheading for the shoe will be 6404.20, HTSUS, which provides for footwear with outer soles of rubber, plastics, leather or composition leather and uppers of textile materials; footwear with outer soles of leather or composition leather.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations.

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


John J. Martuge

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