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NY F86006

May 12, 2000

CLA-2-64:RR:NC:TA:347 F86006


TARIFF NO. 6404.11.90, 6307.90.9989

Mr. John Pellegrini
Ross & Hardies
65 East 55th Street
New York, NY 10022-5555

RE: The tariff classification of footwear made in Thailand.

Dear Mr. Pellegrini:

In your letter dated April 14, 2000 you requested a classification ruling on behalf of your client Reebok International, Ltd. for an item that you describe as men’s athletic footwear, model “Winter Runner III.”

You state that the shoe has a textile upper and a rubber/plastic outsole which does not cover the ankle and has a final cost in excess of $12.00/pair. You explain that the upper consists of multiple materials, textile, rubber/plastic and metal. In determining the material of the external surface of the upper, you have included the visible components except for 1) the flap which covers the laces, 2) the loop at the heel, 3) the metal studs, and 4) the eight thin strips which run from the eyelet stay to the insole line. The footwear is imported with a bootie designed to be worn with the footwear. The bootie is made of man-made fiber and is waterproof.

You advise that, at present, the Company intends to import the booties as part of a unit with footwear. It is possible that, at a later date, the Company will import booties individually to be sold as replacements. At this time, however, booties will be imported individually to replace those received in a damaged, defective or otherwise unusable condition.

The shoe itself is a complete unit with a complete upper, athletic outer sole, lining and insole which can be worn equally well with or without the bootie. The bootie is a separate unit without a seperately applied outer sole, designed to be worn with the shoe for running in cold or wet weather. It is presumed that the “bootie will not remain in the shoe after the shoe is removed.

You state that the issues raised here are 1) the classification of the footwear; 2) whether the booties are classified as composite goods with the footwear; and, the classification of the booties when imported individually.

The first issue is the classification of the footwear. We agree with you that the applicable subheading for model “Winter Runner III” will be 6404.11.90, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, (HTS) which provides for footwear with outer soles of rubber or plastics and uppers of predominantly textile, sports footwear, tennis shoes, basketball shoes, gym shoes, training shoes and the like, other, valued over $12/pair. The rate of duty will be 20 percent ad valorem.

The next issue is whether the footwear and booties are, as you suggest, composite goods. Rule 3(b) (IX), Explanatory Notes (EN) to the HTS provides that “composite goods” made up of different components shall be taken to mean not only those in which the components are attached to each other to form a practically inseparable whole but also those with separable components, provided these components are adapted one to the other and are mutually complementary and that together they form a whole which would not normally be offered for sale in separate parts. In this regard the running shoe and optional bootie are not “composite goods” as they are goods which would normally be offered for sale seperately.

EN 3(b) (X), HTS, provides that the term “goods put up in sets for retail sale” shall be taken to mean goods which: (a) consist of at least two different articles which are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings. (b) consist of products or articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity; and (c) are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking (e.g., in boxes or cases or on boards).

It is our position that the pair of running shoes and the pair of waterproof booties imported together is a “set” for classification purposes. It fully satisfies all three requirements of EN 3(b)(X), HTS. The essential character of the set is imparted, as you indicate, by the running shoe and not the bootie.

The final issue raised by your letter is the classification of the bootie if imported seperately from the running shoes. Chapter 64, Note 1.(b) to chapter 64 (HTS) excludes from classification in that Chapter “footwear of textile material, without an outer sole glued, sewn or otherwise affixed or applied to the upper”. The bootie does not possess an applied outer sole. The applicable subheading for the bootie is 6307.90.9989 (HTS) which provides for other made up articles, other, other. The rate of duty will be 7 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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