United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 2003 NY Rulings > NY J85292 - NY J85333 > NY J85300

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
NY J85300

June 3, 2003

CLA-2-64: RR: NC: TA: 347 J85300


TARIFF NO.: 6403.91.90

Mr. Richard Kaplan
Lamb & Lerch
233 Broadway
New York, NY 10279

RE: The tariff classification of footwear imported with two pairs of laces from China.

Dear Mr. Kaplan:

This letter replaces NY J84252 issued to you on May 28, 2003 on behalf of your client Converse Inc. You requested a tariff classification ruling and clarification of marking requirements for footwear imported with two pairs of laces.

The submitted half pair sample, identified as developmental name “Chuck Taylor All Star Leather Hi,” is a child’s “unisex” athletic-like shoe that has a leather upper, a five-eyelet lace closure, a padded tongue, a rubber/plastic toe bumper and toe cap, a foxing like band and a rubber/plastic outsole. The footwear will be imported with two pairs of shoelaces. In addition to a traditional plastic-tipped shoelace, the shoe will be imported with a shoelace having metal aglet-ends for attaching “ metal star charms” and a small plastic pouch containing the charms. You opine that the shoes with laces, the additional laces with metal ends and “star charm attachments” should be classified as a “set” for classification purposes.

In order to qualify as a set, the components of the set must meet all of the following criteria as defined in the Explanatory Note X (b) to GRI 3(b):

For the purposes of this Rule, the term “goods put up in sets for retail sale” shall be taken to mean goods which:

(a) consist of at least two articles which are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings....

(b) consist of products or articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity; and

(c) are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking (e.g., in boxes or cases or on boards).

The shoe will be imported with two different pairs of laces. One pair of laces has a metal aglet with beaded chain links permanently attached to each end. The chain links are designed to accommodate the metal star charms that are specially designed to attach to them. The shoe is not designed to accommodate both laces simultaneously. Both pairs of laces, the first pair with traditional plastic ends and the second pair with metal aglet ends and star charm attachments imported and sold with a complete pair of footwear are considered a set for tariff purposes. The essential character of the set is imparted by the footwear.

Since this is the type of footwear that is commonly worn by both sexes, this shoe is considered “unisex.”

The applicable subheading for athletic-like sneaker shoe identified as “Chuck Taylor All Star Leather Hi,” will be 6403.91.90, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for footwear with uppers predominately of leather and outer soles of rubber, plastics or composition leather; which is not “sports footwear”; which covers the ankle; for other persons. The rate of duty will be 10% ad valorem.

Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), provides that, unless excepted, every article of foreign origin 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 a manner as to indicate to the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. the English name of the country of origin of the article.

Congressional intent in enacting 19 U.S.C. 1304 was that the ultimate purchaser should be able to know by an inspection of the imported goods the country of origin of the goods. "The evident purpose is to mark the goods so that at the time of purchase the ultimate purchaser may, by knowing where the goods were produced, be able to buy or refuse to buy them, if such marking should influence his will." United States v. Friedlaender & Co., 27 C.C.P.A. 297 at 302 (1940).

We agree with your contention that one pair of laces imported with one pair of imported footwear is an integral part of that footwear and does not require individual marking even if the country of origin of the laces is different than the country of origin of the footwear. Likewise, we also agree that inasmuch as one pair of laces is classified as an integral component part of the imported footwear and (in this case) the other imported lace is classifiable as part of a set with the imported footwear, the only imported article to which the country of origin marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and part 134 of the Customs Regulations applies are the shoes. We are confident that Congressional intent insofar as the requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 are satisfied with the shoes alone being marked with the country of origin for the set.

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

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: