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March 26, 1999

CLA-2-64:RR:NC:TA:347 D89038


TARIFF NO.: 6403.91.60 ; 6403.91.90

Ms. Sharon Sacks
BBC International Ltd.
1515 N. Federal Hwy., Suite 206
Boca Raton, FL 33432

RE: The tariff classification of footwear from China

Dear Ms. Sacks:

In your letter dated March 5, 1999 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The submitted samples are two half pairs of hi-top athletic shoes, your Stock #TAM93101 (white) and Stock #TAM93103 (black).

Stock #TAM93101 (white) has a stitched together upper consisting of leather, plastic and textile component parts, a front lace closure and a rubber/plastic midsole and outer sole, which overlap the upper by varying heights, all around the shoe. You have provided a lab test report which states that the external surface area of the upper of this shoe was found to be 57.8% leather, 34.5% rubber/plastics and 7.7% textile materials. It is our observation that all of the leather overlays present will count as external surface material, since they provide additional support to the upper and are either lasted under and cemented to the sole, or joined to leather overlays which are lasted under and cemented to the sole. Based on your lab report percentage figures and on our visual observations, this shoe has an upper with a predominately leather external surface. You also state that this shoe is valued $8.50 per pair.

Although you state that these are men’s shoes, there is no indication in your submission that you offer a comparable type of shoe for women. We consider this type of footwear to be commonly worn by both sexes. If you do not provide a “women’s” alternative to complement the submitted men’s model, we consider the submitted samples to be “unisex”.

Therefore, the applicable subheading for the shoe, Stock #TAM93101, in American men’s size 8.5 and larger, will be 6403.91.60, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for footwear with uppers predominately of leather and outer soles of rubber and/or plastics, covering the ankle, for men, youths and boys. The rate of duty will be 8.5% ad valorem. In sizes up to and including American men’s size 8, the applicable subheading will be 6403.91.90, HTS, which provides for footwear with upper’s predominately of leather and outer soles of rubber and/or plastics, covering the ankle, for other persons. The rate of duty will be 10% ad valorem.

Your inquiry does not provide enough information for us to give a classification ruling on the other submitted shoe, your Stock #TAM93103 (black). Your request for a classification ruling should include a clear and accurate description of what materials constitute the external surface area of this shoe’s upper. The lab report you have submitted does not accurately describe or appear to measure what we observe to be the actual upper external surface area materials. The fact that the lab reports that only .5% of the upper surface is plastic, while also identifying the center section as “PU Nubrick” (which we presume is a plastic coated textile material) is very confusing. Also, with the tongue and laces excludable, the finding of 29.2% for external textile surface still remaining has to be called into question as well. When you resubmit this sample for a ruling, have your lab identify the actual surface pieces that they have identified as textile, as leather and as plastics and/or plastic coated textile (presumed to be the PU Nubuck top rear and lower side quarter sections). In your measurements, the upper’s external surface area materials are to be counted down to the point where they are lasted under the foot and/or cemented to the sole behind the plastic/ rubber overlap of the midsole.

We are returning the two samples as you requested.

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 212-637-7089.


Robert B. Swierupski

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