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NY J88973

October 22, 2003

CLA-2-64:RR:NC:SP:247 J88973


TARIFF NO.: 6403.99.60

Mr. John B. Pellegrini
McGuire Woods LLP
Park Avenue Tower
65 East 55th St.
New York, NY 10022-3219

RE: The tariff classification of footwear from China

Dear Mr. Pellegrini:

In your letter dated September 29, 2003, on behalf of your client the Timberland Company, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The subject merchandise of this ruling request, identified as “Travel Gear” consists of three pairs of men’s footwear of which only three single half pair samples and no retail packaging has been submitted. You state in your letter that the three complete pairs of shoes, referred to as “Travel Gear”, will be packaged and sold together as a unit. You note that each pair of shoes has either removable insoles or a pair of removable liners and that these three same sized but intended for different use shoe styles can interchange their respective insoles/liner if the wearer so desires. These three different style “Travel Gear” shoes, you state, will be offered for sale together as a unit, intended by design to meet all of a single male traveler’s footwear needs. One pair is appropriate for business wear, one for casual wear, and the third for exercise wear. In addition, you state that the removable and interchangeable insoles are designed, one for comfort, one for exercising and the “liner” is for use in inclement weather.

The three submitted styles of men’s shoes are all of a type that have lace closures, sewn-on rubber/plastic outer soles and of the oxford type that does not cover the wearer’s ankle. The shoes labeled by you as styles “A” and “B” have leather uppers and come complete with leather faced, contour molded rubber/plastic insoles. The athletic-type shoe labeled as style “C” has a combination external surface area upper (ESAU) consisting of leather, textile and rubber/plastic component material parts and is completed and ready for wear with a removable stretch textile bootie liner. You state that the ESAU of this athletic-type shoe (with a rubber/plastic foxing-like band) is also predominately leather and we will presume that for the purposes of this ruling you are correct. We suggest that you confirm this by an exacting lab report prior to importation and if textile is found to be the predominate upper (ESAU) material, this classification ruling will not be applicable for the shoe labeled by you as style “C”.

We do not consider the removable insoles or the removable textile bootie liner to be separately classifiable, as you suggest, but to be included and classified with the shoe they are imported with and/or contained in when imported together. If imported separately, they would then qualify to be separately classified under an appropriate subheading as footwear parts and/or as removable insoles. We also do not consider the three separate pairs of different style shoes imported and sold together as “Travel Gear” to constitute a set. We agree with you that even though the shoes are to be packed and sold together at retail and are grouped for fit by size, they are actually designed for use separately as footwear, for different activities and occasions.

Therefore, the applicable subheading for all three of the men’s shoes labeled by you as styles “A, B and C” and identified by you as the unit item “Travel Gear” will be 6403.91.60, 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 does not cover the ankle; for men, youths and boy’s. The rate of duty will be 8.5% ad valorem.

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. We note that the three sample shoes you have provided for this ruling request have not been marked with their country of origin. Therefore, if imported as is, the shoes do not meet the country of origin marking requirements of the marking statute and will be considered not legally marked.

We are returning the samples as you have 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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