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NY L87619

September 20, 2005

CLA-2-64:RR:NC:SP:247 L87619


TARIFF NO.: 6402.99.18

Mr. Jeffrey Berman
Chesta Co. Inc.
93 W. Columbus St.
Pickerington, OH 43147

RE: The tariff classification of footwear from China

Dear Mr. Berman:

In your letter dated September 2, 2005 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

You have submitted two half pair samples of women’s open-toe, open-heel, toe-thong sandals, identified as Style #TCJ-9085F and Style #TCJ-9085E. Both sandals have “V” shape configured and functionally stitched rubber/plastic material strap uppers that are decorated with numerous, loosely attached and strung together in rows, spherical wood and plastic, or cut stone bead ornaments. Both sandals also have textile fiber faced insoles and cemented-on, rubber/plastic material outer soles.

Style #TCJ-9085F has a rubber/plastics material external surface area strap upper that is approximately ½-inch wide and that has been decorated with numerous ¼-inch diameter wooden beads and several plastic barrel-like beads, all of which are minimally secured to the upper with a single chain stitch. Style #TCJ-9085E also has the same type of rubber/plastics material external surface area strap upper, but this sandal’s upper is decorated with a row of approximately ¼-inch size cube-like cut stone beads, secured to the upper by a single chain stitch, with some beads even dangling from the upper, each secured by a single stitch.

In the past, United States Customs & Border Protection (USCBP) has ruled that items such as strips, buttons, pompons, etc., which are attached to the upper by rivets, gluing, stitching (tacked) at one or two points and which serve as decorations are not to be treated as part of the external surface area of the upper (ESAU) if their removal does not render the shoe unserviceable as footwear. Further, these items, commonly referred to as “Loosely Attached Appurtenances” are not considered to be part of the upper, therefore they are not included nor added back when measuring ESAU. In determining whether an item is a loosely attached appurtenance, among other things, we look to see if it is loosely attached (i.e., secured by minimal stitching or a single rivet or tack), if it is not functional (added only for its decorative qualities) and if it can be removed without making the shoe unserviceable.

The two styles of women’s sandals submitted with your ruling request both have uppers with over 90% rubber/plastics material external surface areas. The wooden bead ornaments on Style #TCJ-9085F and the cut stone bead ornaments on Style TCJ-9085E, we find, do meet the definition for being “loosely attached appurtenances,” as articulated and advanced in previous USCBP rulings. Therefore, the wooden and cut stone beads on these two sandal styles are disregarded entirely from external surface area upper measurements for footwear tariff classification purposes.

The applicable subheading for both these sandals, identified as Style #TCJ-9085F and Style #TCJ-9085E, will be 6402.99.18, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for footwear, in which both the upper's and outer sole's external surface is predominately rubber and/or plastics; which is not “sports footwear”; which does not cover the ankle; in which the upper's external surface area measures over 90% rubber and/or plastics (including any accessories or reinforcements); which does not have a foxing or a foxing-like band applied or molded at the sole and overlapping the upper; and which is not designed to be a protection against water, oil, or cold or inclement weather. The rate of duty will be 6% 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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