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NY H85949

January 3, 2002



TARIFF NO.: 6406.10.25, 6406.10.90

Mr. Harvey Arias
Romika USA, Inc.
8730 NW 36th Avenue
Miami, FL 33147

RE: The tariff classification of footwear uppers

Dear Mr. Arias:

In your letter dated December 5, 2001, you requested a tariff classification ruling two footwear uppers predominantly of textile material.

In general, provisions for “formed uppers” include all items which have a layer of material between most of the foot and the ground (closed bottoms), and which, after lacing or buckling, if needed will stay on the foot if worn in the condition as imported and are shaped to fit the human foot by lasting, molding or otherwise, but not by simply closing at the bottom.

Based on our interpretation of this language, lasting and molding are not the only methods by which an upper may be shaped. It is our observation that the shaping in the subject upper identified as M8623 could not have resulted from “simply closing at the bottom (i.e., shaping of the upper by stitching only.) this sample has a stiffener which give the back the rounded, basically semi-circular shape of a shoe. This features gives the footwear upper noticeably more of it’s finished shape than if it was simply closed at the bottom. In addition, when the stitching is removed from the underfoot, the unlasted upper retains its shoe shape. Item M8623 upper is therefore considered “formed” for tariff purposes. As implied in HRL 950946 dated June 22, 1992, the presence of a relatively rigid piece which requires the upper to maintain at least in part, it’s imported shape in the finished shoe is a critical consideration.

Your inquiry concerns the question of “formed uppers” in relation to unformed uppers primarily. The applicable subheading for item M8623 will be 6406.10.25 through 6404.10.40 (depending upon the value which you have not provided), Harmonized Tariff schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for parts of footwear, formed uppers, of textile materials, other.

The applicable subheading for item identified as Aquasock will be 6406.10.90 (HTS), which provides for parts of footwear, uppers and parts thereof, other than formed uppers, of textile materials, other, other. The general rate of duty will be 5.4 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 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 646-733-3042.


Robert B. Swierupski

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