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NY L87820

October 12, 2005

CLA-2-64:RR:NC:SP:247 L87820


TARIFF NO.: 6403.99.60 ; 6403.99.90

Ms. Lisa Martin
Blue Star Imports, LP.
150 Thorn Hill Road
Warrendale, PA 15086

RE: The tariff classification of footwear from China

Dear Ms. Martin:

In your letter dated September 20, 2005 you requested a tariff classification ruling for an athletic-type shoe that does not cover the wearer’s ankle. The shoe has a six-eyelet lace closure, complete with a laced in black colored textile shoelace. You intend to import a second pair of white colored shoelaces that is to be included in the same retail package for sale with the instant pair of shoes.

The submitted sample is a men’s low-top, predominately leather external surface area upper athletic-type shoe, which you identify as “Style #1700.” The shoe has a stitched together black suede leather upper with textile fabric side panels, an EVA plastic midsole and a rubber/plastic outer sole with a wrap-around toe bumper. You state in your letter that the second pair of white colored shoelaces included with this shoe is provided to fulfill the need for an alternate color lacing fashion choice. The intent behind supplying the additional pair of contrasting color laces is to meet a particular need (i.e., coordinate the wearer’s attire) and not to create a “completed article.” Therefore, the shoes imported together with a second pair of shoelaces will be considered a set, with the essential character of the set imparted by the pair of shoes completed with a single pair of laces.

Since the submitted athletic shoe is the type of footwear that is commonly worn by both sexes and no indication is provided that comparable styles are offered for women, the shoe is considered “unisex” in sizes up to and including American men’s size 8.

The applicable subheading for this athletic-type shoe, identified as Style #1700, with an extra pair of shoelaces included, in American men’s size 8.5 and larger, will be 6403.99.60, 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; for men, youths and boys. The rate of duty will be 8.5% ad valorem. In sizes up to and including American men’s size 8, the applicable subheading will be 6403.99.90, HTS, which provides for footwear with upper’s predominately of leather and outer soles of rubber, plastics or composition leather; which is not “sports footwear”; which does not cover the ankle; which is valued, we presume, over $2.50 per pair; for other persons. The rate of duty will be 10% ad valorem.

The marking statute, section 304, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), provides that, unless excepted, every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the U.S. shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly and permanently as the nature of the article (or its container) will permit, in such a manner as to indicate to the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. the English name of the country of origin of the article. We note that the shoe you have provided has not been marked legibly or in a conspicuous place with the country of origin. It is very difficult for the consumer to read or find it as it is now sewn and placed low down on the inside of the tongue. Therefore, if imported as is, the shoe does not meet the country of origin marking requirements of the marking statute and it will be considered not legally marked.

We note that the instant footwear sample has the words “American Eagle Outfitters” prominently imprinted on the shoe’s insole heel seat and also again, in large gold letters, on a sewn-on label at the top outside portion of the tongue. Section 134.46, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.46), deals with cases in which the words "United States," or "American," the letters "U.S.A.," any variation of such words or letters, or the name of any city or locality in the United States, or the name of any foreign country or locality other than the country or locality in which the article was manufactured or produced, appears on an imported article or its container, and those words, letters or names may mislead or deceive the ultimate purchaser as to the actual country of origin. In such a case there shall appear, legibly and permanently, in close proximity to such words, letters, or name, and in at least a comparable size, the name of the country of origin preceded by "Made in," Product of," or other words of similar meaning. We find that on the markings “American Eagle Outfitters” invokes the requirements of 19 CFR 134.46. Consequently, the country of origin marking “China” must appear in close proximity, and in lettering of comparable size, proceeded by “Made in,” “Product of, “ or other words of similar meaning.

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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