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NY F88270

June 16, 2000

CLA-2-64:RR:NC:TA:347 F88270


TARIFF NO.: 6406.10.6000 ; 5609.00.3000

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

RE: The tariff classification of a shoe upper with a shoelace from China

Dear Mr. Middleton:

In your letter dated May 31, 2000, on behalf of your client, New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling.

You have submitted a sample of both the men’s and women’s version of a footwear upper, identified as Style #804. You state that the external surface of this shoe upper, which consists of both textile and plastic components, is over 50% plastics. You also state that Style #804 is similar in construction to shoe upper styles #703, #803, #714 and #1020, the subjects of a binding ruling issued to you, NY F86334, dated May 4, 2000, which found them to be unformed uppers, because their bottoms were not closed due to the quarter sized holes cut out of the stroble sock bottom or underfoot. The manufacturing steps performed on the instant upper are deemed by you to be identical to those previously ruled on, with the exception of the addition of a polyester shoelace of the tubular braided cord type, which will be laced into the upper’s eyelets in China. We note that previous Customs rulings have determined that a readily removable shoelace, laced into an upper with eyelets, does not constitute a composite good nor a set and so the laces will be separately classified (see HQ 957167, dated April 14, 1995).

You state that the instant sample upper, Style #804, will have all of its parts stitched together at a factory in China. Liquid thermo print plastic is applied on the underside 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. Therefore based on these facts, we agree that this sample shoe upper will also be classified, like the uppers in your ruling NY F86334, as less than a “formed” upper. The tubular braided cord type shoelace, however, will be classified separately under its own appropriate tariff subheading.

The applicable subheading for this shoe upper, Style #804, will be 6406.10.6000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for parts of footwear, which are shoe uppers or parts thereof; which are less than formed uppers; and in which the upper’s external surface is predominately rubber and/or plastics. The rate of duty will be Free.

The applicable subheading for the tubular braided cord type shoelace will be 5609.00.3000, HTS, which provides for articles of yarn, strip or the like of heading 5604 or 5605, twine, cordage, rope or cables, not elsewhere specified or included, of man-made fibers. The rate of duty will be 6.3% ad valorem.

We are returning the samples as you requested.

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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