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NY H87189

February 15, 2002



TARIFF NO.: 6406.10.50

Mr. Jim Hoffman
Hoffman Boots
100 E. Riverside
Kellogg, ID 83837

RE: The tariff classification of footwear uppers

Dear Mr. Hoffman:

In your letter dated January 16, 2002, you requested a tariff classification ruling for a rubber footwear upper. The item submitted with your ruling request is a molded rubber boot bottom which does not cover the ankle. The item has a substantial closed rubber underfoot which will be finished in the United States by application of a rubber outer sole, heel and logging “calks.” The upper will also have a laced boot shaft and lining attached in the United States. A ¾ inch hole has been drilled in the heel area of the underfoot of the item. Due to the absence of an outer sole, the item, as imported, is not considered “unfinished footwear” classified in subheadings 6401-6405 Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS). The issue to be addressed here is whether the ¾ inch opening in the underfoot negates the language of Chapter 64, (HTS) Additional U.S. Note 4, which states:

Provisions of subheading 6406.10 for “formed uppers” cover uppers, with closed bottoms, which have been shaped by lasting, molding or otherwise but not by simply closing at the bottom.

On November 17, 1993, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 27, Number 46, Customs published Treasury Decision (T.D.) 93-88, which contains certain footwear definitions used by Customs import specialists to classify footwear. The footwear definitions were provided merely as guidelines and, although consulted here, are not to be construed as Customs rulings. With regard to “formed uppers,” T.D. 93-88 states, in pertinent part:

In general, provisions for “formed uppers” include all items which have a layer of material between most of the foot and the ground, 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.

In the subject case, the upper is shaped to fit the foot by molding. And will stay on the foot if worn in the condition as imported. The underfoot, although a ¾ inch diameter round hole has been cut out, is a substantial layer of material between most of the foot and the ground. The molding process producing the upper imparts substantial shaping and finishing. In this regard the upper is considered a “formed upper” for classification purposes.

The applicable subheading for this item will be 6406.10.50 (HTS), which provides for parts of footwear, uppers and parts thereof, formed uppers, other, other. The general rate of duty will be 26.2 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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