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NY F86334

May 4, 2000

CLA-2-64:RR:NC:TP:347 F86334


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 April 24, 2000, written on behalf of your client, New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling.

You have submitted samples for four styles of footwear uppers, style #703, #803, #714, and #1020. You state that the external surface area of each upper (ESAU) is over 50% plastic. You also state that three of these styles, #703, #803, and #1020, were the subject of ruling NY F83491 dated March 6, 2000, which found them to be unformed uppers because the bottoms were not closed due to the two quarter sized holes cut out of the bottom of the stroble sock (bottom or underfoot). The four samples at issue each have one hole cut out of the stroble sock.

You state that for each of the upper styles in question, the parts will be stitched together at the factory to create the upper. Liquid thermo print plastic is applied on the under side of the toe piece and a plastic counter piece is cemented at the heel between the outside upper material and the inner lining. The stroble sock is sewn onto the upper and a one-inch diameter hole is cut out of the bottom at one end. At no time during this processing in China is the upper placed on a last. Nor is it molded or otherwise shaped.

All four styles 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 in that the stroble socks are completely sewn to the bottom of each upper (therefore having closed bottoms), and they feature stiffeners in the front and back portions that give the uppers their shape. Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 082573 dated December 28, 1989, stated that the “uppers which have substantial openings cut out of the bottoms, as in 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 piece 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 styles of uppers 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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