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NY H86937

January 25, 2002

CLA-2-64:RR:NC:TA:347 H86937


TARIFF NO.: 6406.10.6500 ; 5609.00.3000 ; 6406.10.9040

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

RE: The tariff classification of footwear uppers from Yugoslavia and China.

Dear Mr. Arias:

In your letter dated January 11, 2002 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

You have submitted two styles of footwear uppers without outer soles, identified as style Memphis 01G, which has an external surface of leather, from Yugoslavia, and style #8623, from China, which has a man-made textile material external surface. Both samples have a sock bottom or underfoot sewn onto their respective uppers and there is an approximately 7/8-inch diameter hole that has been cut out of each sock bottom in the heel area of an otherwise closed underfoot. In addition, we find that thermoplastic cement has been applied on the underside of the textile toe and heel stiffeners that have been assembled into both these sample shoe uppers and the insertion of these stiffeners does provides for some significant shaping of the upper, even if no heat molding of the thermoplastic materials has yet occurred. We presume that it is after importation into the United States that these uppers will be lasted to their final shape by undergoing some heat treatment process and by having their respective outer soles applied by some sort of injection molding or cementing process to become finished shoes. Nevertheless, it is the determination of this office that if these shoe upper’s were to be imported with completely closed bottoms, they would be considered classifiable as “formed uppers”, which have been shaped by lasting, molding or otherwise (see Additional U.S. Note 4 to chapter 64, HTSUS).

In determining whether or not to classify uppers as “formed”, one of the factors we look to is whether the bottom of the upper is closed. Since both these sample uppers have completely sewn on sock bottoms, we could say that these uppers have closed bottoms. However, each of these uppers does also have an approximately 7/8-inch wide hole cut out of its bottom. Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 082573, dated December 28, 1989, stated that “uppers which have substantial openings cut out of the bottoms are not closed within the meaning of Additional U.S. Note 4 to chapter 64, Supra.” Additionally, HRL 954790, dated September 28, 1993, ruled that the term “formed uppers” did not include moccasin uppers with a significant sized hole (the size of a nickel or larger) in their bottom layer, whether or not the upper is fully formed (lasted), unless the piece which will cover that opening was in the same shipment. Since both the sample uppers have openings of as much as 7/8-inch in diameter (nickel size or larger) cut out of their bottoms and provided that the pieces which will cover those openings are not in the same shipment at importation, they will not be considered “formed uppers” for tariff purposes.

Therefore, the applicable subheading for the shoe upper, identified as style Memphis 01G from Yugoslavia, will be 6406.10.6500, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for footwear uppers and parts thereof, which are not “formed uppers” and in which the upper’s external surface is predominately leather. The rate of duty will be Free.

We note that this leather upper also has a tubular-type textile shoelace, we presume of man-made textile fiber, laced into its eyelets. Previous Customs rulings have determined that a readily removable shoelace, laced into the eyelets of a footwear upper does not constitute a composite good nor a set and so the laces will be separately classified. 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 5.3% ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the shoe upper identified as style #8623 from China, will be 6406.10.9040, HTS, which provides for footwear uppers and parts thereof, which are not “formed uppers”, and in which the upper’s external surface is predominately of textile material of man-made fibers. The rate of duty will be 5.4% ad valorem.

This shoe upper, identified as style #8623, falls within textile category designation 669. Based upon international textile trade agreements products of China are subject to quota and the requirement of a visa.

The designated textile and apparel categories and their quota and visa status are the result of international agreements that are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes. To obtain the most current information, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the U.S. Customs Service Textile Status Report, an internal issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is available at the Customs Web site at www.customs.gov. In addition, the designated textile and apparel categories may be subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected and should also be verified at the time of shipment.

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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