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NY K84703

April 14, 2004
CLA-2-64:RR:NC:SP:247 K84703


TARIFF NO.: 6406.10.6500

Ms. Stacey Nesseth
Red Wing Shoe Company, Inc.
314 Main Street
Red Wing, MN 55066-2337

RE: The tariff classification of footwear uppers from China.

Dear Ms. Nesseth:

In your letter dated April 1, 2004 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The submitted sample, identified by an attached hang tag as “Style 6”W/P Upper, Sample #U9”, is an above-the-ankle leather boot upper that is approximately 7-inches high and is without an outer sole. There is, as you state, a “stroble sock” or underfoot sewn to the bottom and there is an approximately 1-inch diameter hole that has been cut out of this sock bottom in the heel area of an otherwise closed underfoot. In addition, we find that a heel stiffener has been assembled into this leather boot upper and that this area has been partially shaped and formed, while the front toe area is completely unformed and is flared outward in a flat, unshaped manner. You state that once these leather uppers are imported into the United States, additional materials and processing will occur to close the bottom, last and form the upper, attach an outer sole to the lasted upper in a soling process and substantially transform the unformed boot uppers into completed boots.

In determining whether or not to classify uppers as “formed”, one of the factors we look to is whether the bottom of the upper is closed. Since the sample upper has a completely sewn on sock bottom, we could say that these uppers have closed bottoms. However the upper does also have an approximately 1-inch wide hole cut out of its bottom. Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 082573, dated December 28, 1989, stated that “uppers which have substantial openings cut out of the bottoms are not closed within the meaning of Additional U.S. Note 4 to chapter 64, Supra.” Additionally, HRL 954790, dated September 28, 1993, ruled that the term “formed uppers” did not include moccasin uppers with a significant sized hole (the size of a nickel or larger) in their bottom layer, whether or not the upper is fully formed (lasted), unless the piece which will cover that opening was in the same shipment. Since the submitted sample boot upper has an opening of as much as one inch wide in diameter (nickel size or larger) cut out of its bottom and provided that the pieces which will cover this opening are not in the same shipment at importation, the upper will not be considered “formed uppers” for footwear tariff purposes.

The applicable subheading for the boot upper identified as “Style 6”W/P Upper, Sample #U9” will be 6406.10.6500, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for footwear uppers and parts thereof, which are not “formed uppers” and in which the upper’s external surface is predominately leather. The rate of duty will be Free.

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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