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NY L87561

September 29, 2005

CLA-2-64:RR:NC:SP:247 L87561


TARIFF NO.: 6403.99.90

Ms. Melissa Fox
Barthco International, Inc.
5101 S. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19112

RE: The tariff classification of footwear from China

Dear Ms. Fox:

In your letter dated September 13, 2005, on behalf of Nine West, Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The submitted sample item identified as style name “Rapido,” is a pair of women’s athletic-type shoes with soft suede leather uppers that can be readily bent in half to fit snugly into their own specially shaped and designed storage/carrying case. The shoes have leather uppers that do not cover the wearer’s ankle and make use of an elasticized shoelace that is laced through a number of eyelet holes along the instep, tightening the upper onto the foot with a plastic cinch stop buckle closure at the heel. The shoes also have predominately rubber/plastics material outer soles and we presume that they will be valued at over $2.50 per pair.

The pair of shoes will be imported and sold in a triangular shaped and very compact, zippered carrying case that is made of both textile and plastics materials. The case is by design, shaped and sized to snuggly accommodate only this specially constructed pair of shoes for storage in a bent-in-half condition. The case is opened using a slide fastener that runs all the way around a molded plastic triangular midsection, which is also designed to form a molded loop-like plastic carrying handle. The triangular shaped case is somewhat rigid and measures approximately 6 inches in length on each of its sides, and is about 3 inches in width.

The Explanatory Notes (EN) to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUSA) constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. The Explanatory Notes to GRI (General Rules of Interpretation) 3(b) provides further guidance in determining essential character, and in determining what constitutes a “set.” The Explanatory Notes for GRI 3(b) define sets as (1) consisting of at least two different articles which are classifiable in different headings, (2) articles put together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity, (3) packed for sale directly to users without repackaging. In the examples of sets in EN (X) to GRI 3(b), holders, cases, containers, etc. may be included as components of sets. Holders, cases, etc. imported with a set should be designed to hold or carry the items which are a part of the set. For the instant pair of women’s shoes, the accompanying triangular shaped compact case functions to provide storage for the shoes when they are not being used or when they are being carried. If imported and presented with the pair of shoes ready for sale without re-packing, these shoes and this shoe holder or case meet the definition of a “set” for classification purposes. Sets are classified according to the component that gives them their essential character. Accordingly, this pair of women’s highly flexible, leather upper outdoor use shoes, packed and sold with the accompanying carrying case forms a set, with the shoes imparting the essential character.

The applicable subheading for the pair of shoes identified as style name “Rapido” with their specially shaped and fitted carrying case will be 6403.99.90, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for footwear, with upper’s predominately of leather (excluding accessories and reinforcements) and outer soles of rubber, plastics or composition leather; which is not “sports footwear”; which does not cover the ankle; which is valued over $2.50 per pair; for other persons. The rate of duty will be 10% 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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