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NY F82848

February 28, 2000

CLA-2-64:RR:NC:TP:347 F82848


TARIFF NO.: 6406.10.60, 6406.99.1540

Ms. Alice Wagner
Tower Group International
128 Dearborn Street
Buffalo, NY 14207-3198

RE: The tariff classification of footwear uppers and parts of footwear from China.

Dear Ms. Wagner:

In your letter dated February 4, 2000, written on behalf of Solar Link International, Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling.

You have submitted a sample of what you state is an unformed upper which has an underfoot (stroble sock) sewn completely to the bottom with a single quarter-sized hole cut out of the underfoot (stroble sock). You state that this is the same upper that was the subject of NY E88143 dated November 10, 1999, which featured an upper with two quarter-sized holes cut out at the bottom of the underfoot. You ask whether having only one quarter-sized hole cut out in the underfoot would change its classification. This shoe also features stiffeners in the front and back portions that gives the upper its shape.

This upper will still meet the definition of an “unformed upper” as per Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 085573 dated December 28, 1989, which stated that “uppers which have substantial openings cut out at the bottom are not closed within the meaning of Additional U.S. Note 4 to chapter 64, Supra.” In this regard, this upper is not a “formed upper” for tariff purposes. In your previous ruling request, you stated that the uppers are composed of 70% rubber/plastic and 30% nylon. Therefore, the applicable subheading for the upper will be 6406.10.60, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for parts of footwear, which are parts of footwear uppers which are less than formed uppers, which are of rubber or plastic material. The rate of duty will be free.

You have also submitted a sample of a stroble sock which you state is made up of 100% polyester. If you plan to import these stroble socks in the same shipment as the uppers which feature the quarter-sized hole in the bottoms, the uppers will be classified as “formed uppers” for tariff purposes. In order to be considered “unformed,” the piece which will cover the opening in the underfoot cannot be in the same shipment. See Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 954790 dated September 28, 1993, where it was ruled that the term “formed uppers” does not include moccasin uppers with a significant sized hole (the size of a nickel or larger) in the bottom layer whether or not the upper is fully formed (lasted) unless the piece which will cover that opening is in the same shipment. If this is the case, the uppers would be considered “formed” for tariff purposes and the applicable subheading for the uppers would be 6406.10.50, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for footwear uppers and parts thereof, other than stiffeners, which are “formed uppers,” other than textile materials. The rate of duty will be 26.2% ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the stroble socks, if imported separately from the uppers, will be 6406.99.1540, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for parts of footwear, other than uppers, of textile materials, of man-made fibers. The rate of duty will be 15.7% ad valorem. This HTS falls within textile category designation 659.

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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