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NY J86080

July 23, 2003

CLA-2-64:RR:NC:347: J86080


TARIFF NO.: 6402.99.20

Mr. Stephen S. Spraitzer
George R. Tuttle
Three Embarcadero Center, Suite 1160
San Francisco, CA 94111

RE: The tariff classification of footwear from China

Dear Mr. Spraitzer:

In your letter dated July 10, 2003, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of Asics Tiger Corporation for a men’s running shoe identified as “GEL-EAGLE TRAIL III WP (Style TN3A2). You state that the sample has an outer sole of rubber and an upper composed of plastic and textile material with plastic comprising the greatest external surface area. You further state that inside the shoe is a material called “Walotex” and have enclosed commercial literature describing this material. The literature indicates that “Walotex” is one of a number of waterproof/breathable materials that have multiple uses. It is your contention that style TN3A2 is not protective footwear.

You base your contention on your interpretation of the definition of “protection” as published in the FOOTWEAR DEFINITIONS (T.D. 93-88) dated October 25, 1993. Specifically,

A. Footwear that is a “protection” against water includes:

2. All items for outdoor use which have uppers or liners made of “Gortex”.

T. D. 93-88 is a compilation of footwear definitions used by import specialists in classifying footwear. Prior to the issuance of T.D. 93-88, they could only be found in the Automated Commercial System to which only Customs, and not the importing public had access. It was determined that availability of these definitions for the use of the importing community would be advantageous both to importers and Customs. Since footwear importers are required to abide by Customs terminology, it would assist them in better understanding classification requirements. These definitions are provided merely as guidelines. They are not construed as customs rulings.

The reference to “Gortex” in the definitions is meant to illustrate the concept that footwear incorporating “waterproofing” materials” such as “Gortex” are substantially more of a protection against the penetration of water than other footwear not incorporating these materials in their construction. It is by no means implied that the only waterproofing material utilized in footwear construction that is “protective” is “Gortex”. Waterproofing materials and membranes are generally an indication that footwear incorporating them is “protective” regardless of their brand name. Generally, footwear with upper materials or linings made of waterproof materials is “protective” for tariff purposes.

The applicable subheading for GEL-EAGLE TRAIL III WP (Style TN3A2), will be 6402.99.20, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for footwear with outer soles and uppers of rubber/plastics, other, other, other, footwear designed to be worn over, or in lieu of other footwear as a protection against water, oil, grease or chemicals or cold or inclement weather. The general rate of duty will be 37.5 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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