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NY K80902

January 2, 2004
CLA-2-64: RR: NC: SP: 247 K80902


TARIFF NO.: 6402.99.18

Mr. Alex Kim
NYCS America, Inc.
32 Mount Vernon
Irvine, CA 92620

RE: The tariff classification of footwear from China.

Dear Mr. Kim:

In your letter dated December 09, 2003, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The submitted half-pair sample identified as Item # F1011, is a girl’s open-toe, open-heel “flip-flop” sandal. The upper consists of a single-molded rubber/plastic Y-configured toe-thong strap, the ends of which penetrate and are secured by plugs into rubber/plastic foam outsole that varies in thickness from ¾-inch at the toe to 1 ¼-inches on the side. The sandal features three ornamental textile material flowers that are each attached by a single metal rivet to the center area of the Y-configured toe-thong strap. The ornamental flowers are “loosely attached appurtenances” and they are excluded from any external surface area of the upper material measurements. Although this sandal looks very much like a “zori,” it is precluded from being classified as one because it has an outsole that is not approximately uniform in thickness.

In TD 93-88 dated October 25, 1993 certain “Footwear Definitions” were published to provide some guidelines used by Customs to classify footwear under Chapter 64 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States.

Briefly, some standard characteristics of a “zori” include an upper, which is a single molded piece of rubber/plastic; a rubber/plastic outsole that is less than 2 inches thick at its thickest point; the outsole must not have a separate insole and the outsole is approximately uniform in thickness, i.e., the thickest point is neither more than -inch thicker than the thinnest point nor more than 35 percent thicker than the thinnest point. As previously pointed out, the sandal has a characteristic that is not typical of a “zori” and therefore cannot be classified as such.

The applicable subheading for this slip-on sandal, identified as Item # F1011, will be 6402.99.18, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for footwear, in which the upper’s external surface area is over 90% rubber or plastics (including any accessories or reinforcements); in which the outer sole’s external surface is predominately rubber and/or plastics; which is not “sports footwear”; which is not designed to be a protection against water, oil, or cold or inclement weather; which does not have a foxing-like band; and which does not cover the ankle. The rate of duty will be 6% ad valorem.

We also note that sandal identified as Item # F1011, is not marked with the country of origin. Therefore, if imported as is, the footwear submitted will not meet the country of origin marking requirement of 19 U.S.C. 1304. Accordingly, the footwear would be considered not legally marked under the provisions of 19 C.F.R 134.11 which states “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 container) will permit.”

The sample is being retained.

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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