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NY L80025

October 28, 2004

CLA-2-64:RR:NC:SP:247 L80025


TARIFF NO.: 6403.99.90

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

RE: The tariff classification of footwear from China

Dear Ms. Texeira:

In your letter dated October 13, 2004 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The submitted half pair sample identified as Style BL2064 is you state, a women’s casual slip-on shoe. The shoe has an upper that does not cover the wearer’s ankle, with an external surface area consisting of leather, rubber/plastic and textile component materials. In your letter you ask that in measuring the external surface area of the upper (ESAU) of this shoe, should all the leather vamp overlay materials that are seen and “sit” on the external surface be counted or should you consider some of the underlying covered materials to count as ESAU instead.

Slip-op 96-139 decided August 16, 1996, HI-Tech Sports, USA, V. United States has significantly altered the Customs approach to external surface area of the upper (ESAU) and accessories and reinforcements determinations. Whereas prior to this decision, we focused on visibility, completeness and plausibility of materials to determine ESAU, we now must also take into account “structural integrity,” material components contribution of strength and durability, and the manner of construction.

Like the leather portion of the HI-Tech boots that the court found to be ESAU, we find that all the sewn-on leather material components, which comprise much of the external surface upper portions of the subject shoe, contribute support, rigidity and strength to the shoe. The leather overlays on the upper vamp of this shoe are sewn to leather “mudguards” that have been lasted under the foot, and taken together, are all necessary to the structural integrity, strength and durability of the shoe. Although you have not submitted actual component material measurements for the ESAU of the shoe, we have been able to determined based on our visual estimates that this shoe has an upper that is predominately leather. The shoe also has a molded rubber/plastic outer sole.

The applicable subheading for the women’s shoe identified as Style BL2064 will be 6403.99.90, 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; which, we presume, will be valued over $2.50 per pair; for other persons. The rate of duty will be 10% ad valorem.

We are returning the sample as you 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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