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NY K83079

February 24, 2004


TARIFF NO.: 6402.91.50, 6404.19.20, 6406.10.9040,

Ms. Ruth Texeira
Columbia Sportswear Company
14375 N.W. Science Park Drive
Portland, OR 97229

RE: The tariff classification of footwear from China or Vietnam.

Dear Ms. Texeira:

In your letter dated February 6, 2004, you requested a tariff classification ruling for two boot styles, BM1305 and NY1570.

You describe style BM 1305 as follows:

Style BM1305 is men’s majority textile or rubber/plastic; protective boot with a removable bootie/liner. The bootie/liner itself is majority textile upper made with Thermolite® insulation. The bottom of the removable bootie/liner has a sheet of rubber that is glued to it. The bootie liner can be removed and worn by itself.

You present the following questions concerning how this boot and liner should be measured and classified.

1. The outer boot has several overlays of synthetic materials over textile. Please advise if synthetic pieces marked “1” & “2” would be considered “overlays” and therefore removed before figuring the ESAU since they are not lasted to the sole but do provide structural support.

2. Please confirm if the outer boots “tongue-like” area is counted as part of the ESAU.

3. Although the bootie/liner can be worn separately, it is imported and sold together with the boot. We therefore believe that boot/liner is classified with the outer boot as a composite good.

4. If the bootie/liner were imported separately from the boot, would it be considered “protective” since it is lined with Thermolite® and therefore classified under HTS 6404.19.20 @37.5% ad valorem?

The synthetic (rubber/plastics) overlays appearing on the upper contribute to the structural integrity of the boot and are therefore, an essential structural portion of the boot. These overlays are included in external surface area of the upper (ESAU) measurements, not removed as accessories or reinforcements.

The textile material portion of the boot shaft that you refer to as “tongue-like” is on the same plane as the rest of the boot shaft and therefore included in ESAU measurements.

The boot and liner comprise a “composite good” for tariff classification purposes with the essential character imparted by the boot.

The textile liner, which has a fully closed bottom, does not have the type of sole that is intended to be worn outside of a boot nor to be in contact with the ground. If imported separately, the liner will be classified as “uppers and parts thereof in heading 6406 Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, (HTS). Since the liner is classified as footwear parts, the “protective” aspect of the Thermolite® feature is not an issue.

You have not provided an ESAU measurement for the boot. A visual examination of the upper indicates that rubber/plastics material comprises the greatest ESAU.

The applicable subheading for style BM1305 will be 6402.91.50 (HTS), which provides for footwear with outer soles and uppers of rubber/plastics, other, footwear designed to be worn over, or in lieu of, other footwear as a protection against water, oil, grease or chemicals or cold or inclement weather. The general rate of duty will be 37.5 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the bootie/liner, if imported separately, will be 6406.10.9040 (HTS), which provides for parts of footwear, uppers and parts thereof, other than formed uppers, other, other, other, of man-made fibers. The general rate of duty will be 4.5 percent ad valorem.

This item falls within textile category designation 669. Based upon international textile trade agreements products of China are subject to quota and the requirement of a visa.

The designated textile and apparel categories may be subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected. Part categories are the result of international bilateral agreements which are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes. To obtain the most current information available, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report on Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an internal issuance of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which is available for inspection at your local Customs office.

You describe style NY 1570 as follows:

Style NY1570 is a youth boot; with a rubber/plastic shell bottom; textile upper with synthetic overlays. The upper has four synthetic overlays pieces at the top of the boot (marked with an *) that the laces thread through so the boot can be tightened around the child’s leg. These four overlays are not lasted or sewn to the shell bottom.

You state that if the four overlays marked (*) are left on the upper and counted, then the ESAU is majority rubber/plastic. However, if they are removed and not counted, the ESAU is majority textile. We agree that the four rubber/plastics overlays marked (*) on the sample should be disregarded in the ESAU determination but included as accessories or reinforcements. In this regard, we will assume your statements regarding ESAU are accurate and the boot has an ESAU of predominantly textile material.

The applicable subheading for style NY1570 will be 6404.19.20 (HTS), which provides for footwear with outer soles of rubber/plastics and uppers of textile materials, other, footwear designed to be worn over, or in lieu of, other footwear as a protection against water, oil, grease or chemicals or cold or inclement weather. The general rate of duty will be 37.5 percent 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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