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NY J82823

April 7, 2003



TARIFF NO.: 6406.10.05, 6406.10.10, 6406.10.65

Mr. John Pellegrini
Ross & Hardies
65 East 55th Street
New York, NY 10022-3219

RE: The tariff classification of footwear parts from Dominican Republic.

Dear Mr. Pellegrini:

In your letter dated March 25, 2003, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of The Timberland Company. The merchandise which is the subject of this ruling is an upper for a man’s boot imported with an unattached inner sole. You refer to the inner soles as “sock liners.” You state that the upper will be imported with an equal number of sock liners. You describe the items as:

The upper is a leather boot upper with seven eyelets. The upper is completely open at the bottom and is neither front-part nor back-part lasted.

The sock liner consists of multiple materials in three layers. The top layer is a combination of leather and a non-woven textile with leather representing the majority of the surface area. The middle layer is rubber/plastic. The bottom layer is “BONTEX”, a paperboard.

Additional U.S. Note 4 to Chapter 64, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), sets forth the criteria for determining whether an upper is considered a formed upper for tariff purposes. That note reads, in pertinent part, as follows:

. . .[p]rovisions for "formed uppers" covers uppers, with closed bottoms which have been shaped by lasting, molding or otherwise but not by simply closing at the bottom.

The sample boot upper submitted with your ruling request has been shaped by the insertion of molded plastic heel and front vamp stiffeners and is completely open at the bottom. In this regard it is not a “formed upper” due to the bottom not being closed. However, the upper and inner-sole combination, if imported together, will comprise an unassembled “formed upper” pursuant to General Rule Of Interpretation (GRI) 2 (a) which provides:

Any reference in a heading to an article shall be taken to include a reference to that article incomplete or unfinished, provided that, as entered, the incomplete or unfinished article has the essential character of the complete or finished article. It shall also include a reference to that article complete or finished (or failing to be classified as complete or finished by virtue of this rule), entered unassembled or disassembled.

See Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 954790 dated September 28, 1993, where it was ruled that the term “formed uppers” does not include moccasin uppers with a significant sized hole (the size of a nickel or larger) in the bottom layer whether or not the upper is fully formed (lasted) unless the piece which will cover that opening is in the same shipment. If this is the case, the uppers would be considered “formed” for tariff purposes

If imported separately, the applicable subheading for the upper will be 6406.10.65 (HTS) which provides for parts of footwear, uppers and parts thereof, other (than formed uppers), of leather. The rate of duty will be free. If imported together, the applicable subheading for the upper and inner-sole combination in sizes up to and including American men’s size 8 will be 6406.10.10 (HTS), which provides for parts of footwear, uppers and parts thereof, formed uppers, for other persons. The rate of duty will be 10 percent ad valorem. For sizes larger than American men’s size 8, the applicable subheading will be 6406.10.05 (HTS) which provides for parts of footwear, uppers and parts thereof, formed uppers, for men, youths and boys. The rate of duty will be 8.5 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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