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NY H89716

April 15, 2002

CLA-2-64:RR:NC:TA:347 H89716


TARIFF NO.: 6404.11.90

Ms. Kristi L. Brokaw
Adidas America
5055 N. Greeley Ave.
Portland, OR 97217

RE: The tariff classification of footwear from China

Dear Ms. Brokaw:

In your letter dated March 25, 2002 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The submitted sample, you state, is a pair of men’s running shoes, identified by you as Article #148365, model YY Zetroc LO PT. This athletic style shoe has an upper with an external surface area that is predominately of a stitched together cotton denim textile material. The shoe’s upper also has a ¾-inch wide padded plastic ankle collar, a sewn-in triangular shaped plastic panel behind the heel, a plastic padded tongue and a lace closure. It has an EVA plastic wedge-like midsole, a rubber/plastic toe bumper and a cemented-on rubber/plastic outer sole. Your letter indicates that this shoe will be valued over $12.00 per pair.

You state in your letter that the submitted sample pair of shoes is specially developed in conjunction with “Fashion Designer Yohji Yamamoto.” The denim material that these shoes are made from comes from old blue jeans that have been hand painted. The legs, you state, are cut off individual blue jeans and cutting dies are used to cut out all the actual upper pieces needed to make each of these individually unique pair of shoes. The designer, Yohji Yamamoto, you state, wants the ultimate consumer to see how the shoe’s uppers are cut from the blue jeans and so the leftover remnants of the blue jean pant leg showing the pattern cuts is also being included in the shoebox. A pair of shoes and the matching left over piece of a cut up denim material pant leg are packed together in a shoe box and will be offered that way for retail sale.

The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI) governs the classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS). GRI 3 states that when goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, classification shall be effected as follows:

(a) The heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description. However, when two or more headings each refer to a part only of the material or substances contained in mixed or composite goods or to part only of the items in a set put up for retail sale, those headings are to be regarded as equally specific in relation to those goods, even if one of them gives a more complete or precise description of the goods.

(b) Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character.

In understanding the language of the language of the HTS, the Explanatory Notes (EN’s) of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System may be utilized. Explanatory Note VIII to GRI (3) states, “The factor which determines essential character will vary as between different kinds of goods. It may, for example, be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or the use of the goods.” The EN’s also define composite goods made up of different components as “not only those in which the components are attached to each other to form a practically inseparable whole but also those with separable components, provided these components are adapted one to the other and are mutually complementary and that together they form a whole which would not normally be offered for sale in separate parts.”

In this case, we will consider the pair of shoes packed and sold together at retail with the matching leftover remnant of a cut up denim pant leg to constitute a composite good according to GRI 3(b). Composite goods are classified according to the component which gives them their essential character. It is the opinion of this office that based on its use and value, it is the footwear that imparts the essential character of this composite good. Therefore, the applicable classification and duty rate of the shoes will apply.

The applicable subheading for this shoe with its accompanying cut up pant leg remnant piece, identified as “Article #148365, model YY Zetroc LO PT” will be 6404.11.90, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for footwear, in which the upper’s external surface is predominately textile materials (excluding accessories and reinforcements); in which the outer sole’s external surface is predominately rubber and/or plastics; which is “athletic footwear”; and which is valued over $12.00 per pair. The rate of duty will be 20% 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 646-733-3042.


Robert B. Swierupski

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