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May 5, 1999

CLA-2-64:RR:NC:TA:347 E80647


TARIFF NO. 6402. 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 April 9, 1999 you requested a classification ruling on behalf of your client, adidas America, Inc. You have submitted samples of three shoes which you identify as trail running shoes, model “Boost”, article numbers 661435 (men’s) and 660762 (women’s), model “Incision”, article numbers 660778/9 (men’s) and 660754 (women’s) and model “Radiant”, article numbers 660393 (men’s) and 036386 (women’s). You state that the uppers in the subject footwear are a combination of plastic and textile, with plastic being the predominant, for the purposes of this ruling, we will assume this statement to be factual. The subject shoes are running shoes which do not cover the ankle with lace tie closures. The uppers consist of a combination of textile and rubber or plastics materials. The outer soles are molded of rubber or plastics material and overlap the uppers at various heights around the perimeter of the shoes..

You state your belief that the subject footwear is “sports footwear”. Subheading Note 2, Chapter 64, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, (HTS), provides that the term “sports footwear” applies to footwear designed for a sporting activity and which has spikes, cleats, etc. You believe that the subject footwear satisfies both of these criteria. You refer to a previous ruling issued by this office, NY D82094, dated September 25, 1999 in which models “Roost” and “Davos” were held to be “sports footwear”. You state that the subject footwear has the same type of cleats as models “Roost” and “Davos” and should accordingly fall within the definition of “sports footwear”.

Subheading Note 1, Chapter 64, (HTS) states; for the purposes of subheadings 6402.12, 6402.19, 6403.12, 6403.19 and 6404.11, the term “Sports Footwear” applies only to:

(a) Footwear which is designed for a sporting activity and has, or has 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.

Customs interpretation of the terms spikes, sprigs, cleats, stops, bars or the like in regards to “sports footwear” has generally been to include projections attached to, or molded into, the soles of sports footwear” to provide traction during outdoor sporting activities such as golf, field sports, (baseball, soccer, American football, rugby etc.) or track & field events. In addition, crampons and similar attachments for rock/ice-climbing boots have also been included as fitting the definition of these terms. However, outdoor recreational footwear, with traction studs, lugs or similar sole projections, suitable for everyday walking have not been considered “sports footwear” as these projections are unlike spikes, sprigs, cleats, stops, clips, bars or the like.

The soles on the subject footwear present a pattern of numerous crescent shaped ridge-like projections in various sizes which extend approximately 1/8 inch outward from the sole surface. The overall walking surface of these soles is relatively even and presents a comfortable surface for everyday walking. In this regard, the subject footwear is not “sports footwear” as defined in the Subheading Note 1 (a). We do not agree that the subject footwear has the same type of cleats as models “Roost” and “Davos” which were the subject of NY D82094. Those soles were described as “...rubber/plastic outer soles with numerous widely spaced, molded-in, pyramid-like rubber/plastic cleats that protrude up and outward approximately 5/16 inch from the surface of the sole”. While the projections on the soles of these shoes have the same general shape, when viewed from below, as the projections on the subject shoes, they extended significantly further from the sole.

The applicable subheading for the three submitted samples of trail running shoes, model “Boost”, article numbers 661435 (men’s) and 660762 (women’s), model “Incision”, article numbers 660778/9 (men’s) and 660754 (women’s) and model “Radiant”, article numbers 660393 (men’s) and 036386 (women’s). 84-611-00, will be 6402.99.90, (HTS) which provides for footwear with outer soles and uppers of rubber or plastics, other than sports, not covering the ankle, 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) 637-7089.


Robert Swierupski

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