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NY F83491

March 6, 2000

CLA-2-64:RR:NC:TP:347 F83491


TARIFF NO.: 6406.10.60

Mr. Peter T. Middleton
Middleton & Shrull
44 Mall Road, Suite 208
Burlington, MA 01803-4530

RE: The tariff classification of footwear uppers from China.

Dear Mr. Middleton:

In your letter dated February 17, 2000, written on behalf of your client, New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling.

You have submitted four styles of footwear uppers, style #703, #803, #829 and #1020. You state that the external surface area of the upper (ESAU) of each style is over 50% plastic. All four samples have a “stroble” sock (bottom or underfoot) sewn to the bottom and two one-inch diameter holes are cut out of the bottom at one end.

In determining whether the uppers are “formed,” one of the factors we look to is whether the bottom of the uppers are closed. Since the stroble socks are completely sewn to the bottom of each upper, we would say these uppers have closed bottoms. In addition to a closed bottom, a “formed upper” must also have been shaped by lasting, molding, or otherwise, but not by simply closing at the bottom. (See Additional U.S. Note 4 to chapter 64, HTSUS). In this regard, all four samples feature stiffeners in the front and back portions that give the uppers their shape, which you describe as liquid thermo print plastic applied to the underside of the toe pieces and a plastic counter piece cemented at the heel between the outside upper material and inner lining of each upper.

These uppers would normally be considered “formed uppers” as they fit the description for formed uppers outlined in Additional U.S. Note 4 to chapter 64, HTSUS. Although, Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 082573 dated December 28, 1989, stated that “uppers which have substantial openings cut out of the bottoms, as is the case in all four of the submitted samples, are not closed within the meaning of Additional U.S. Note 4 to chapter 64, Supra.” In this regard, these uppers are not “formed uppers” for tariff purposes, providing that the pieces which will cover those openings are not in the same shipment. See Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 954790 dated September 28, 1993.

The applicable subheading for all four samples 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.

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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