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NY H89686

April 9, 2002

CLA-2-64:RR:NC:TA:347 H89686


TARIFF NO.: 6406.10.6500 ; 6406.10.9040 ; 6307.90.9889

Mr. Rajko Sajovec
Romika USA, Inc.
8730 NW 36th Avenue
Miami, Fl 33147

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

Dear Mr. Sajovec:

In your letter dated March 21, 2002 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

You have submitted two styles of footwear uppers without outer soles, identified as style Memphis 14, which has an external surface of leather, from India, and style W/9048, 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 a heel stiffener has been assembled into the leather shoe upper sample and the insertion of the stiffener does provide for some significant shaping of this upper, even if no other molding or heat shaping 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 forming and by having their respective outer soles applied by some sort of injection molding or cementing process to become finished shoes.

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 upper 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 14 from India, 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.

The applicable subheading for the shoe upper identified as style W/9048 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.

We note that this textile shoe upper also has a flat braided 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 that is not a “formed upper” does not constitute a composite good nor a set and so the laces will be separately classified. Therefore, the applicable subheading for this flat textile shoelace will be 6307.90.9889, HTS, which provides for “other made up textile articles.” The rate of duty will be 7% 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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