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NY J86851

August 1, 2003

CLA-2-64:RR:NC:TA:347 J86851


TARIFF NO.: 6403.99.90

Mr. Roger J. Crain
Customs Science Services, Inc.
11901 Reynolds Avenue
Potomac, MD 20854-3334

RE: The tariff classification of footwear from Taiwan

Dear Mr. Crain:

In your letter received July 23, 2003 on behalf of K-Swiss, Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling for a pair of shoes complete with their “tongues” that will be imported together with an extra matched pair of attachable different color shoe tongues.

The submitted footwear sample identified as Style “Lozan II with Tongue Twister” is a child’s size athletic-type shoe with a lace closure, a rubber/plastic sole and a predominately leather upper that does not cover the wearer’s ankle. As you state, the shoe has the unique feature of a tongue that is affixed to the shoe with a plastic snap-in pin-and-socket assembly at its base. The snap-in tongues are textile on one side, plastic material on the other and are reversible so that they can be twisted around on their unique pin-and-socket assembly and be worn under the laces to display either their plastic side or their textile side. A second feature of this shoe is that the tongue is removable from its “twister” assembly and a different tongue of the same construction but of a different color can be snapped into its place. You state that your client K-Swiss, Inc. intends to import the “Lozan II with Tongue Twister” shoe with an extra pair of “Tongue Twister” snap-in tongues packed together in a shoebox ready for retail sale, so that the buyer would have a choice of four different tongue colors to wear.

It is the opinion of this office that this shoe with its unique detachable tongue feature, packed with an additional pair of shoe tongues will be considered as a composite good. The Explanatory Notes for GRI 3(b) define composite goods as (1) adapted to one another, (2) mutually complementary, and (3) together they form a whole that would not normally be offered for sale separately. The “tongues” and the shoe are adapted to one another since the snap-in tongues are made to fit the receptacles on the surface of the shoe uppers and the receptacles and shoes are sized to fit these tongues. They are mutually complementary because the shoes and the tongues are component parts designed to be worn together and they would not be offered for sale as separate articles since they are made to fit only the specially designed “twister” socket on the upper of the shoe.

A composite good is classified according to the component that gives it its essential character. Since the essential character is imparted by the footwear, the applicable subheading for the item “Lozan II with Tongue Twister” with an additional pair of shoe tongues, will be 6403.99.90, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for footwear with upper’s predominately of leather and outer soles of rubber, plastics or composition leather; which is not “sports footwear”; which does not cover the ankle; which is valued, we presume, over $2.50 per pair; for other persons. The rate of duty will be 10% 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
National Commodity

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