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NY I83477

July 22, 2002

CLA-2-64: RR: NC: TA: 347 I83477


TARIFF NO.: 6402.99.18; 9802.00.80

Mr. Mike Choi
MKC Customs Brokers International Inc.
9320 S. LA Cienega Blvd.
Inglewood, CA 90301

RE: The tariff classification of footwear from China.

Dear Mr.Choi:

In your letter dated June 28, 2002, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

You ask for information regarding the importation of footwear made in China with a plastic molded combination platform and spiked heel shoe parts produced in the United States. You state that the U.S. produced shoe component will be sent to China for further processing by adding plastic uppers, padded textile insoles, rubber/plastic outsoles and rubber/plastic heel top lifts. You indicate that the U.S. and Chinese shoe components will merely undergo a glueing assembly operation in China. You also asked, whether the plastic molded combination platform and spiked heel can be considered a U.S. component when returned to the U.S. and therefore qualify for a duty allowance in chapter 98 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).

Subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, provides a partial duty exemption for:

Articles assembled abroad in whole or in part of fabricated components, the product of the United States, which (a) were exported in condition ready for assembly without further fabrication, (b) have not lost their physical identity in such articles by change in form, shape or otherwise, and (c) have not been advanced in value or improved in condition abroad except by being assembled and except by operations incidental to the assembly process such as cleaning, lubricating and painting.

All three requirements of HTSUS subheading 9802.00.80 must be satisfied before a component may receive a duty allowance. An article entered under this tariff provision is subject to duty upon the full cost or value of the imported assembled article, less the cost or value of the U.S. components assembled therein, upon compliance with the documentary requirements of section 10.24, Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. §10.24).

Section 10.16(a), Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. §10.16(a)), provides that the assembly operation performed abroad may consist of any method used to join or fit together solid components, such as welding, soldering, riveting, force fitting, gluing, laminating, sewing, or the use of fasteners.

Operations incidental to the assembly process are not considered further fabrication operations, as they are of a minor nature and cannot always be provided for in advance of the assembly operations. However, any significant process, operation or treatment whose primary purpose is the fabrication, completion, physical or chemical improvement of a component precludes the application of the exemption under HTSUS subheading 9802.00.80 to that component. See, 19 C.F.R. §10.16(c).

The attachment of the Chinese plastic upper, padded insole, rubber/plastic outsole and heel top lift to the U.S. shoe component does constitute an assembly process. Thus, an allowance in duty may be made for the value of the U.S.-made plastic molded combination platform and spiked heel shoe part using 9802.00.80, HTSUS, upon compliance with the document requirements in19 CFR 10.11 – 10.24.

The submitted half pair sample, is a woman’s open-toe, open-heel fashion shoe that features an approximate 3 ½-inch platform-bottom with an approximate 7 ½-inch heel. The shoe also has a plastic upper, a padded insole, and a rubber/plastic outsole. The sample does not have a model/style/item/pattern/product number associated with it.

The applicable subheading for the footwear will be 6402.99.18, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, (HTS) which provides for footwear with outer soles and uppers of rubber or plastics, not covering the ankle, other, having uppers of which over 90 percent of the external surface area (including accessories or reinforcements) is rubber or plastics, not having a foxing or foxing-like band, not protective, other. The general rate of duty will be 6 percent ad valorem.

19 C.F.R. 134.11 states, "every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the U.S. shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly, and permanently as the nature of the article (or container) will permit, in such manner as to indicate to the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. the English name of the country of origin of the article."

Also, in cases where the finished footwear is fabricated with both U.S. and foreign components and a “Made in the U.S.A.” component statement may be involved, the Federal Trade Commission should address the country of origin marking requirements. The address is Federal Trade Commission, Division of Enforcement, 6th and Pennsylvania Avenue., Washington, D.C. 20508

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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