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NY J88822

September 29, 2003

CLA-2-64:RR:NC:TA:347 J88822


TARIFF NO.: 6404.20.40

Mr. John Imbrogulio
Nordstrom, Inc.
1617 Sixth Ave., Suite 1000
Seattle, WA 98101-0870

RE: The tariff classification of footwear from Italy

Dear Mr. Imbrogulio:

In your letter dated September 15, 2003 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The submitted sample, identified as style # 8J0715, is a women’s open-heel sling-back fashion shoe with a predominately textile material upper, a side buckle closure, a 4-inch high spike heel and a leather outer sole. It also has a patent leather triangular shaped vamp upper portion. You have provided a lab report indicating that the component material by weight percentage breakdown for this shoe is 34.0% leather, 8.9% textile, 10.9% rubber/plastics, 21.9% paperboard and 24.3% metal. This lab report has also determined that the total percentage by weight of all the rubber, plastic and textile component materials present in this shoe equal 19.8% of the total weight of the shoe.

In your letter you state that this women’s high heel fashion shoe will be imported with its own 100% man-made fiber woven fabric shoe bag and that the bag will not be sold separately from the shoes. The shoe bag is approximately 16-inches in length, 12-inches in width and has a simple string tie cinch closures about 3-inches below the topline. The trademark name/logo “Fendi” is horizontally printed on the outside front lower right corner of the bag. This is also the same logo found stamped on the outer sole and boldly printed on the heel seat of the pair of shoes that the bag is intended to keep together for convenience and for storage against soiling. You state that the bag is made in Italy.

GRI 3(b) provides for composite goods made up of different components. Explanatory Note IX to GRI 3(b) provides that composite goods can consist of separable components, provided these components are adapted to one another and are mutually complementary and that together they form a whole, which would not normally be offered for sale separately. The shoes and bag are a composite good as that term is defined and applied in the HTSUS. In this case, the components are separable and adapted to be used together. The simple bag/pouch is slightly larger than the shoes it is imported with and meant to contain, and would not easily accommodate additional items, with room enough at the top to close the drawstring. The “Fendi” logo, featured on the heel seat and sole of each shoe, is also featured on the bags. The bag would not likely be sold as an independent product for carrying various other personal effects (as would a back pack, fanny bag, or shoulder bag). Although shoes are not always sold with drawstring bags/pouches, placement of the shoes in this lightweight textile bag helps to protect the material surface of the shoe uppers from scuffing and during travel will protect other personal effects from dirt that the shoes pick up. In this regard, the shoes and bag together form a composite article classified according to GRI 3(b). Composite goods are classified according to the component that gives them their essential character. Therefore, the pair of shoes and the accompanying bag constitutes a composite article classifiable with the rate applicable to the shoes.

The applicable subheading for this women’s shoe with its accompanying shoe bag, identified as style # 8J0715 will be 6404.20.40, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for footwear, in which the upper’s external surface is predominately textile materials (excluding accessories or reinforcements); in which the outer sole’s external surface is predominately leather or composition leather; in which the shoe, by weight, is not over 50% as a total of textile, rubber and plastic materials; and which is valued over $2.50 per pair. The rate of duty will be 10% ad valorem.

You have also asked this office to rule on whether the shoe bags require a country of origin marking.

The “Fendi” logo imprinted textile shoe bag is not marked with the country of origin. The marking statute, section 304, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), provides that, unless excepted, 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 its 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. Therefore, if imported as is, the submitted shoe bag would not meet the country of origin marking requirement of the marking statute and will be considered not legally marked.

We are returning the samples 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

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