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HQ 961962

March 21, 2000

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 961962 SS


TARIFF NO.: 6307.90.9989

Louis S. Shoichet, Esquire
Tompkins & Davidson, LLP
1515 Broadway, 43rd Floor
New York, NY 10036-8901

RE: Classification of ornamental shoe clips; shoe decoration; other made up textile articles; heading 6307, HTSUSA; not clothing accessories; heading 6217, HTSUSA; not parts of footwear; heading 6406, HTSUSA

Dear Mr. Shoichet:

This is in response to your request on behalf of your client, Avon Products, Inc., dated May 20, 1998, concerning the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) of two pairs of ornamental shoe clips manufactured in Taiwan. A sample of the two pairs of ornamental shoe clips and a ladies’ shoe were submitted with your request.


The submitted merchandise consists of two pairs of ornamental shoe clips, the decorative portion of which is constructed of 100 percent man-made nylon fiber fabrics, and a ladies’ shoe made of 100 percent polyester velour with a rubber sole. One ornamental pair of shoe clips is designed in a black interwoven elliptical shape that gives the appearance of a braided piece and the other pair is designed in a bow shape. The ornamental shoe clips feature a metal clasp that allows the shoe clips to be secured to the upper of ladies’ footwear. The importer states that although the shoe ornaments will be imported and sold with the footwear, the two pairs of shoe clips will be packaged together in a sealed poly bag and will not be attached to the shoes upon importation. We were unable to verify with the importer whether or not the sealed poly bag containing the shoe ornaments will be imported in the same shoebox as the shoes. The importer submits that the ornamental shoe clips and shoes do not constitute a set for classification purposes. For the purposes of this ruling, we assume that the velour shoes and nylon shoe clips as imported are not in a set put up for retail sale.


What is the proper classification of the two pairs of ornamental shoe clips under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA)?


Classification of goods under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (“GRIs”). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative section or chapter notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI may then be applied. The Explanatory Notes (EN) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, which represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, facilitate classification under the HTSUSA by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRI.

The headings under consideration are: heading 6406, HTSUSA, which covers, among other things, parts of footwear; heading 6217, HTSUSA, which covers, among other things, clothing accessories; and heading 6307, HTSUSA, which covers other made up textile articles.

Chapter 64, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, footwear and parts of footwear. Although heading 6404, HTSUSA, provides for parts of footwear, shoe ornaments are specifically excluded from the heading. Chapter Note 2 to Chapter 64, HTSUSA, states as follows:

2. For the purposes of heading 6406, the term “parts” does not include pegs, protectors, eyelets, hooks, buckles, ornaments, braid, laces, pompons or other trimmings (which are to be classified in their appropriate headings) or buttons or other goods of heading 9606.

Accordingly, the subject shoe ornaments are excluded from classification in Chapter 64, HTSUSA.

Heading 6217, HTSUSA, covers, among other things, other made up clothing accessories. The term “clothing accessory” is not defined in the HTSUSA. However, in HQ 084857, dated June 28, 1989, and HQ 081945, dated January 29, 1990, Customs clearly stated that accessories to shoes are not considered “clothing accessories” of heading 6217, HTSUSA. HQ 084857 (cited above), stated in pertinent part:

. . . [I]n order to be classifiable under Heading 6217, an article must be a clothing accessory. In our view, shoes are commonly considered to be apparel accessories and not “clothing”, and, while shoe covers may be considered to be shoe accessories, accessories of clothing accessories are not within the purview of Heading 6217.

Applying this rationale to the subject merchandise, the ornamental shoe clips are not clothing accessories and are thus not properly classifiable under heading 6217, HTSUSA.

Despite this line of cases, in HQ 086055, dated January 9, 1990, Customs classified neoprene boot liners as other made up clothing accessories. The ruling did not explain how the liners qualified as “clothing accessories”. Additionally, in HQ 952170, dated December 23, 1992, Customs classified booties worn with walking shoes as other made up clothing accessories. Reliance was placed upon the prior neoprene boot liner ruling. HQ 952170 (cited above) acknowledged that it and the prior boot liner ruling were inconsistent with the reasoning set forth in HQ 081945 (cited above), and stated that Customs was considering revocation of HQ 081945. However, no such revocation has occurred. Furthermore, Customs is currently considering the revocation of HQ 086055 and HQ 952170 (cited above). Upon review of the matter, we find that HQ 084857 and HQ 081945 present a more reasoned approach to the classification of shoe ornaments.

Heading 6307, HTSUSA, provides for other made up textile articles. The EN to heading 6307, HTSUSA, state that the heading covers made up articles of any textile material which are not included more specifically elsewhere in the tariff schedule. The EN also state that the heading specifically includes rosettes other than those for garments. Webster’s II New Riverside University Dictionary defines rosette as “[a]n ornament or badge made of silk or ribbon that is pleated or gathered to resemble a rose and is worn as a clothing decoration or as a part of a medal.” We find that the instant ornamental shoe clips are similar in nature to rosettes.

In HQ 084857 and HQ 081945 (cited above), Customs classified disposable shoe covers under heading 6307, HTSUSA. As stated above, Customs reasoned that accessories to shoes are not considered “clothing accessories” of heading 6217, HTSUSA. Furthermore, Customs has classified similar shoe ornaments under heading 6307, HTSUSA. In HQ 083538, dated February 12, 1990, Customs classified animal head “shoe tie-ons” as other made up textile articles. The shoe tie-on was described as an animal head of man-made fibers with two small loops on the back which enabled the animal head to serve as a shoe decoration by running the shoe laces through the loops. Additionally, in HQ 086328, dated April 18, 1990, Customs classified shoe decorations which were attached to sneakers by hook and loop material under heading 6307, HTSUSA. The shoes had textile uppers composed of hook and loop type material. Woven strips with various dinosaur designs had hook and loop material on the back which allowed the strips to be attached to the upper of the shoe for decoration. Applying these cases to the merchandise at issue, the ornamental shoe clips at issue are accessories to clothing accessories and are properly classifiable under heading 6307, HTSUSA.

Recently, in New York Ruling (NY) A89942, dated December 6, 1996, Customs classified similar shoe ornaments under heading 6217, HTSUSA. As the holding in NY A89942 is inconsistent with this ruling, we are currently considering its revocation.


The two pairs of ornamental shoe clips are classifiable under subheading 6307.90.9989, HTSUSA, which provides for “Other made up articles, including dress patterns: Other: Other: Other; Other: Other.” The general column one duty rate is 7 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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