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NY H83958

August 10, 2001

CLA-2-64:RR:NC:TA:347 H83958


TARIFF NO.: 6405.90.90

Mr. John B. Pellegrini
Ross & Hardies
Park Avenue Tower
65 E. 55th St.
New York, NY 10022-3219

RE: The tariff classification of travel slippers and a carrying case from China.

Dear Mr. Pellegrini:

In your letter dated July 16, 2001, on behalf of your client Nomad (New York) Ltd., Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The submitted sample, identified as Style #7158, is a pair of women’s travel slippers in a matching carrying case. You state that the slippers will be imported and sold in the matching carrying case. The carrying case is oval in shape, approximately nine inches in length, five inches in width and is approximately 2.5 inches deep. The outer surface of the case is made of the same material as the footwear it contains, in the same color and is ornamented with the same type and pattern of decorative embroidery, and there is a zipper closure around most of the case circumference. The carrying case is not form fitting, but it just allows enough room for this pair of slippers to fit snugly in a folded up position. The issues raised by this ruling request are the classification of the footwear and whether to classify this carrying case and the slippers it contains together as a set.

The slippers are of the moccasin type, with functionally stitched plastic uppers that feature a distinct pattern of decorative textile embroidery on the vamp plug over the toes. The outer sole, as you state, is a combination of both suede leather and plastic materials, with leather being the predominant material of the outer sole in contact with the ground.

The Explanatory Notes (EN) to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUSA) constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. The Explanatory Notes to GRI (General Rules of Interpretation) 3(b) provides further guidance in determining essential character, and in determining what constitutes a “set.” The Explanatory Notes for GRI 3(b) define sets as (1) consisting of at least two different articles which are classifiable in different headings, (2) articles put together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity, (3) packed for sale directly to users without repackaging. In the examples of sets in EN (X) to GRI 3(b), holders, cases, containers, etc. may be included as components of sets. Holders, cases, etc. imported with a set should be designed to hold or carry the items which are a part of the set. Although carrying cases are not normally sold with shoes, it is quite evident that this zippered case functions to provide storage for the slippers when not being used and contributes to the protection of the slippers in addition to providing a convenient means of transportation. Additionally, the slippers and the carrying case are classifiable in different HTS provisions. The slippers are classifiable in Chapter 64 and the carrying case in Chapter 42 of the HTS. If imported and presented with the slippers as a unit ready for retail sale without repackaging, the pair of slippers and the carrying case meets the definition of a “set” for Customs purposes. Sets are classified according to the component that gives them their essential character. Accordingly, the slippers packed and sold with their accompanying carrying case form a set, with the slippers/shoes imparting the essential character.

Therefore, the applicable subheading for the subject footwear and its matching oval shaped carrying case, identified as your sample item Style #7158, will be 6405.99.90, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for footwear, in which the upper’s external surface is predominately rubber and/or plastics; in which the external surface of the outer sole is not predominately rubber or plastics; and which is not disposable footwear designed for one time use. The rate of duty will be 12.5% ad valorem.

We are returning the sample 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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