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NY J88824

September 29, 2003

CLA-2-64:RR:NC:TA:347 J88824


TARIFF NO.: 6403.51.60

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 # ”Artisan 05”, is a pair of men’s slip-on over the ankle height dress shoes with predominately grain leather uppers that have stretch textile side panel gussets and sewn-on 100% leather outer soles with ¾-inch heels. You state that each shoe of the pair will be imported with its own 100% cotton woven fabric shoe bag and that the bags will not be sold separately from the shoes. The two shoe bags are both approximately 13-inches in length, 10-inches in width and have simple drawstring closures at the topline. They have the trademark name/logo “Faconnable” horizontally printed on the outside front center of each bag, which is also the same logo found stamped on the sole and in the heel seat of the shoes that they will contain for storage. You state that the shoe bags are 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 bags 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 bags/pouches are slightly larger than the shoes they are imported with and would not easily accommodate additional items, with room enough at the top to close the drawstring. The “Faconnable” logo, featured on the heel seat and sole of each shoe, is also featured on the bags. The bags would not likely be sold as independent products 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 these bags helps to protect their fine leather finish 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 bags constitutes a composite article classifiable with the rate applicable to the shoes.

The applicable subheading for the men’s shoes with accompanying shoe bags, identified as style # “Artisan 05” will be 6403.51.60, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for footwear with predominately leather uppers and outer soles, which cover the ankle, for men, youths and boys. The rate of duty will be 8.5% ad valorem.

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

The “Faconnable” logo imprinted textile shoe bags are 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 bags 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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