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NY K80757

January 20, 2004
CLA-2-64:RR:NC:SP:247 K80757


TARIFF NO.: 6406.10.6000 ; 6307.90.9889

Mr. Peter T. Middleton
Middleton & Shrull
44 Mall Road, Suite 208
Burlington, MA 01803-4530

RE: The tariff classification of a shoe upper with a shoelace from China

Dear Mr. Middleton:

In your letter dated December 18, 2003, on behalf of your client, New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling.

You have submitted a sample of a footwear upper, identified as Style #807. You state that the external surface of this shoe upper, which consists of both textile and plastic components, is over 50% plastics. You state that Style #807 is a successor to Style #804, the upper which was the subject of a binding ruling issued to you, NY F88270, dated June 16, 2000. The Style #807 footwear upper has a knit shoelace with a textile core laced into the upper’s eyelets and this shoe upper also has a 1-inch diameter hole cut out of its stroble sock bottom, as did its predecessor, Style #804. You also state that the Style #807 upper is similar in construction to shoe upper styles, #703, #803, #714 and #1020, the subjects of a binding ruling issued to you, NY F86334, dated May 4, 2000, which found them to be unformed uppers, because their bottoms were not closed due to the quarter sized holes cut out of their stroble sock bottoms/underfoot.

We again note that previous Customs rulings have also determined that a readily removable shoelace, laced into an unformed upper with eyelets, does not constitute a composite good nor a set and so the laces will be separately classified (see HQ 957167, dated April 14, 1995).

You state that the instant sample upper, Style #807, will have all of its parts stitched together at a factory in China. Liquid thermo print plastic is applied on the underside of the toe piece and a plastic counter piece is cemented at the heel between the outside upper material and the inner lining. The stroble sock is sewn onto the upper and a one-inch diameter hole is cut out of the bottom at one end.

New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc. the importer, will also add the following list of operations to the manufacturing processes involved in the production of sample upper Style #807 that will now also be performed in China:

1. Steam the upper.
2. Place the upper on a size/model last.
3. Visually inspect upper.
4. Wash and clean the upper with acetone. 5. Match upper to appropriate sole in press and mark sole lasting line on upper. 6. Remove upper from press and sole.
7. Prime upper to marked lasting line with adhesive primer and/or adhesive. 8. Allow primer/adhesive to dry.
9. Delast upper.

The Style #807 upper is not molded or otherwise shaped. The shoelaces will be inserted into the first three to four sets of eyelets and this upper with a 1-inch hole punched out of its bottom will be packed ready for shipment to the United States. The Style #807 unformed uppers are not imported on the same vessel as their (outer) soles and are not entered at the same port on the same day. After importation into the U.S., the uppers and the soles are placed in a machine, which presses, cements and forms the completed shoes.

Therefore based on these facts, we agree that this sample shoe upper will also be classified, like the upper in your ruling NY F88270, as less than a “formed” upper. The knit shoelace with a textile core, however, will be classified separately under its own appropriate tariff subheading.

The applicable subheading for this shoe upper, Style #807, will be 6406.10.6000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for parts of footwear, which are shoe uppers or parts thereof; which are less than formed uppers; and in which the upper’s external surface is predominately rubber and/or plastics. The rate of duty will be Free.

The applicable subheading for the knitted shoelace will be 6307.90.9889, HTS, which provides for other made up textile articles, other. The rate of duty will be 7% 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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