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NY E84872

August 27, 1999

CLA-2-64:RR:NC:TA:347 E84872


TARIFF NO. 6406.10.30, 6406.10.50

Mr. Jacob Barrocas
Injection Footwear Corp.
8730 NW 36th Avenue
Miami, FL 33147

RE: The tariff classification of formed footwear uppers made in China.

Dear Mr. Barrocas:

In your letter dated June 22, 1999 you requested a classification ruling. You have submitted two samples of footwear uppers, along with their corresponding finished shoes which you state have been completed by direct injection at your factory in Miami, Florida. You believe both items should be classified as “unformed uppers”. This belief is based on your interpretation of the description given in U.S. Customs “Footwear Classification and Value Guide” which states that “unformed uppers do not include...any upper which is completely unlasted, i.e., no part of it has been bent (lasted) inward to the horizontal or has received only the limited shaping resulting from simply closing at the bottom”. You state that “lasting of shoe uppers for this construction is very similar to that of a string lasted upper”. You describe the process as follows, “the upper is heated up to soften the box toe and counter, than the upper is stretched by the last. In string lasting this is accomplished by physically pulling a draw string stitched to the upper forcing it to conform to the last. In the construction being submitted, the unformed upper is heated, it is than forced on a split last and than the last is closed causing the upper to form to the shape of the last. The upper cools and the finished lasted shoe is removed from the last”.

The submitted footwear upper samples bear no identifying style numbers. The black textile upper is a girl’s “Mary Jane” style with a strap across the instep, secured by a hook and loop closure. The blue upper is an “Aqua shoe” style with extensive rubber/plastics overlays. You have identified this upper as having an external surface area of 65% vinyl, (rubber/plastics) and 35% textile material. You also state that both footwear uppers are valued from $5.00 to $6.00 per pair. For the purposes of this ruling we will accept these figures to be correct, however, they may be subject to verification at the port of entry at the time of importation. The textile fabric underfoot of the submitted footwear uppers which close the bottoms are stitched on. The black “Mary Jane” upper has stiffeners at the toe and heel and the blue “Aqua Shoe” upper has significant overlays, these features impart shape to the uppers.

Footwear and footwear parts are provided for in Chapter 64, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS). Additional U.S. Note 4 to Chapter 64 provides in pertinent part:

Provisions for ‘formed uppers’ cover uppers, with closed bottoms, which have been shaped by lasting, molding or otherwise but not by simply closing at the bottom.

Based on our interpretation of this note, lasting and molding are not the only methods by which an upper may be shaped. It is our observation that the shaping in the subject uppers could not have resulted from “simply closing at the bottom (i.e., shaping of the upper by stitching only.) Both of the instant footwear uppers have either stiffeners or added overlays which give the front and back the rounded, basically semi-circular shape of a shoe. These features give the footwear uppers noticeably more of their finished shape than if they were simply closed at the bottom. In addition, when the stitching is removed from the underfoot, the unlasted uppers retain their shoe shape. The submitted footwear uppers are therefore considered “formed” for tariff purposes. As implied in HRL 950946 dated June 22, 1992, the presence of a relatively rigid piece which requires the upper to maintain at least in part, it’s imported shape in the finished shoe is a critical consideration.

The applicable subheading for the “Mary Jane” footwear upper will be 6406.10.30, (HTS), which provides for footwear uppers and parts thereof, other than stiffeners, which are “formed” uppers, of textile materials, valued over $3 but not over $6.50 per pair. The rate of duty will be 63 cents/pair plus 26.2 percent ad valorem. The applicable subheading for the “Aqua Shoe’ footwear upper will be 6406.10.50, (HTS), which provides for footwear uppers and parts thereof, other than stiffeners, which are “formed” uppers, of other than textile materials. The rate of duty will be 26.2 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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