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April 19, 1999

CLA-2-64:RR:NC:TA:347 D89886


TARIFF NO.: 6406.99.9000

Mr. Arlen T. Epstein
Tompkins & Davidson, LLP
One Astor Plaza
1515 Broadway
New York, NY 10048

RE: The tariff classification of removable insoles from China

Dear Mr. Epstein:

In your letter dated March 26, 1999, on behalf of your client, Avon Products, Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The submitted sample, identified as “Flexible Magnetic Soles-PP191077", is a removable insole that is designed to be placed inside a shoe. The insole is made of a thin sheet of rubber with interspersed vent holes, has a top face covered by a pattern of numerous raised circular molded “nubs”, and features five round magnets that are, by design, located along a central axis, each one in its own separate circular molded rubber housing.

Removable insoles are “eo nomine” provided for by Heading 6406, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for parts of footwear (including uppers whether or not attached to soles other than outer soles): removable insoles, heel cushions and similar articles. Since this item consists of both rubber and magnet component parts, it will be considered a composite good for classification within subheading 6406.99, HTS, and its classification will be based on an essential character determination.

Classification of merchandise under the HTS is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI’s). GRI 3(a) provides that the more specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description and that when goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, they are to be regarded as equally specific, thereby making resort to GRI 3(b) necessary. GRI 3(b) provides that composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character. Since it is presumed that this insole will be purchased by consumers primarily because of the magnets it incorporates, for whatever reason or benefits their presence implies, it is the determination of this office that the essential character of this insole is imparted by the magnets.

Therefore, the applicable subheading for this insole will be 6406.99.9000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for parts of footwear, that are removable insoles, and for which the essential character is not given by either wood, rubber and/or plastics, textile materials, or leather. The rate of duty will be Free.

We are returning the sample 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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