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NY G86136

February 6, 2001

CLA-2-98:RR:NC:N3:347 G86136


TARIFF NO.: 9802.00.80

Mr. Gordon C. Anderson
C.H. Robinson International, Inc.
8967 Columbine Road
Suite 400
Eden Prarie, MN 55347

RE: Applicability of subheading 9802.00.80 to footwear produced in China.

Dear Mr. Anderson:

In your letter dated January 3, you requested a ruling on behalf of LaCrosse Footwear on tariff classification. Your letter poses an additional question to those addressed in NY ruling G82045 dated October 2, 2000.

You ask for information regarding the importation of footwear made in China with outsoles produced outside of China. You state that rubber sheeting outsole material is produced in Canada and shipped to the U.S. In the U.S., outsoles are cut out of the rubber sheets and then shipped to China, where Chinese uppers are attached to the outsoles. By your statement we assume that the outsoles will merely undergo an assembly operation in China. You ask whether the outsoles can be considered U.S. components when returned to the U.S. and therefore qualify for a duty allowance in chapter 98 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).

In NY G82045, we determined that the completed footwear imported from China does not qualify for preferential treatment under the NAFTA because the boots will not be wholly obtained or produced entirely, or transformed, in the territory of a NAFTA country as required by General Note 12(b), HTSUS.

First, using the rules of origin as described in 19 CFR 102.11(a)(3) we must determine the country of origin of the outsoles before they are sent to China to be assembled with footwear uppers. 19 CFR 102.11(a)(3) states that “the country of origin of a good is the country in which each foreign material incorporated in that good undergoes an applicable change in tariff classification set out in 19 CFR 102.20 and satisfies any other applicable requirements of that section, and all other applicable requirements of these rules are satisfied.”

The country of origin rules set out in 19 CFR 102.20 for chapter 64, HTSUS, state that in order to determine origin for a good, “a change to subheading 6406.20 through 6406.99 from any other chapter” must be met. In this case, rubber sheeting from Canada (chapter 40) is cut to the shape of outsoles in the U.S. (subheading 6406.99). As this does constitute a change in chapter, the country of origin of the rubber outsoles will be the United States since the cutting-to-shape of the rubber sheeting transforms it into a “product of” the U.S.

Subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, provides a partial duty exemption for:

Articles assembled abroad in whole or in part of fabricated components, the product of the United States, which (a) were exported in condition ready for assembly without further fabrication, (b) have not lost their physical identity in such articles by change in form, shape or otherwise, and (c) have not been advanced in value or improved in condition abroad except by being assembled and except by operations incidental to the assembly process such as cleaning, lubricating and painting.

The attachment of the Chinese upper to the U.S. outsole does constitute an assembly process. Thus, an allowance in duty may be made for the value of the U.S.-made outsoles using 9802.00.80, HTSUS, upon compliance with the document requirements in19 CFR 10.11 – 10.24.

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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