United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 2000 NY Rulings > NY F85333 - NY F85383 > NY F85372

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
NY F85372

April 12, 2000

CLA-2-64:RR:NC:TA:347 F85372


TARIFF NO.: 6406.10.6500 ; 6406.10.9040

Mr. Peter T. Middleton
Middleton & Shrull
44 Mall Road, Suite208
Burlington, MA 01803-4530

RE: The tariff classification of footwear uppers from China.

Dear Mr. Middleton:

In your letter dated March 29, 2000, on behalf of your client, New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling.

You have submitted three styles of footwear uppers without outer soles, identified as Style #720 and #805 which have upper external surfaces of leather, and Style #330 which has a man-made textile material external surface. All three samples have a “stroble” sock bottom or underfoot sewn onto their respective uppers and there is a one-inch diameter hole that has been cut out of each sock bottom near the front of the otherwise closed underfoot. You state that all the constituent parts of these three uppers will be stitched together in China. Additionally, a liquid, thermo plastic cement stiffener is applied on the underside of the toe piece and a semi-rigid counter piece of thermal resin plastic is cemented at the heel between the upper surface material and the lining. The application and insertion of these plastic stiffeners does provide for some significant shaping of the upper, even though as you state, no heat molding of the thermoplastic materials has yet occurred. It is only after importation into the United States that these uppers, you state, will be lasted to their final shape by actually undergoing a heat treatment process and will become finished shoes by also undergoing a simultaneous injection molding to form and attach polyurethane midsoles and outer soles. Nevertheless, it is the determination of this office that if these shoe upper’s were to be imported with completely closed bottoms, they would all be considered classifiable as “formed uppers”, which have been shaped by lasting, molding or otherwise (see Additional U.S. Note 4 to chapter 64, HTSUS).

In determining whether or not to classify uppers as “formed”, one of the factors we look to is whether the bottom of the upper is closed. Since the “stroble socks” are completely sewn to the bottoms of each sample upper, we could say that these uppers have closed bottoms. However, each of these uppers does also have a one-inch wide hole cut out on its bottom. Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 082573, dated December 28, 1989, stated that “uppers which have substantial openings cut out of the bottoms are not closed within the meaning of Additional U.S. Note 4 to chapter 64, Supra.” Additionally, HRL 954790, dated September 28, 1993, ruled that the term “formed uppers” did not include moccasin uppers with a significant sized hole (the size of a nickel or larger) in their bottom layer, whether or not the upper is fully formed (lasted), unless the piece which will cover that opening was in the same shipment. Since all three of these sample uppers do have openings of as much as one-inch in diameter cut out of their bottoms and provided that the pieces which will cover those openings are not in the same shipment at importation, they will not be considered “formed uppers” for tariff purposes.

The applicable subheading for the two shoe uppers, identified as Style #720 and Style #805, will be 6406.10.6500, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for footwear uppers and parts thereof, which are not “formed uppers” and in which the upper’s external surface is predominately leather. The rate of duty will be Free.

The applicable subheading for the shoe upper identified as Style #330, will be 6406.10.9040, HTS, which provides for footwear uppers and parts thereof, which are not “formed uppers”, and in which the upper’s external surface is predominately of textile material of man-made fibers. The rate of duty will be 6.3% ad valorem.

The shoe upper identified as Style #330 falls within textile category designation 669. Based upon international textile trade agreements products of China are subject to quota and the requirement of a visa.

The designated textile and apparel categories and their quota and visa status are the result of international agreements that are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes. To obtain the most current information, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the U.S. Customs Service Textile Status Report, an internal issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is available at the Customs Web site at www.customs.gov. In addition, the designated textile and apparel categories may be subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected and should also be verified at the time of shipment.

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

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: