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NY L88568

December 27, 2005

CLA-2-64:RR:NC:SP:247 L88568


TARIFF NO.: 6402.99.30

Ms. Sally A. Endsley
Brown Shoe Company, Inc.
8300 Maryland Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63105-3693

RE: The tariff classification of footwear from China

Dear Ms. Endsley:

In your letter dated November 30, 2005 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The submitted sample, identified as “Pattern Jantzen,” is a women’s open-toe, open-heel, slip-on shoe with a predominately rubber/plastic material upper and a rubber/plastic sole. The upper does not cover the ankle and consists of a single 2.5 inch wide strap that passes over the instep and includes a belt-like accessory or reinforcement strap with a large metal buckle and four large metal framed eyelets. You have not provided component material percentage measurements for the upper. However, based on visual examination, we have determined that the large metal buckle and metal eyelets account for more than 10% of the external surface of the upper. You specifically ask if the metal buckle is considered a “loosely attached appurtenance” and disregarded in surface area measurements.

Note 4(a), Chapter 64 Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, (HTS), provides; The material of the upper shall be taken to be the constituent material having the greatest external surface area, no account being taken of accessories or reinforcements such as ankle patches, edging, ornamentation, buckles, tabs, eyelet stays or similar attachments.

Subheadings 6401.92.60, 6401.99.80, 6402.19.05-15, 6402.30.30, 6402.91.40 and 6402.99.05-18 provide that the subject footwear have uppers of which over 90 percent of the external surface area is rubber or plastics including any accessories or reinforcements such as those mentioned in note 4(a) to this chapter.

Generally, CBP has held that the noted subheadings do not require that everything that was excluded under Note 4(a) must be added back in determining classification under those provisions. It is our opinion that “loosely attached appurtenances” are not part of the upper at all and therefore are not added back in measuring the external surface area. Among other considerations, loosely attached appurtenances must be purely decorative, and can provide no function, no matter how minor or non-essential.

The metal buckle on “Pattern Jantzen,” in addition to being specifically mentioned as an example of accessories or reinforcements in Note 4(a), also provides the function of securing the instep strap to the upper. In this regard it is an accessory or reinforcement and added back into the external surface area measurement in certain subheadings. The fact that the buckle is minimally secured to the upper by a single rivet is not, in itself, enough to remove it from external surface area measurements.

The applicable subheading for the shoe, identified as “Pattern Jantzen,” will be 6402.99.30, 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, other, not covering the ankle, having upper’s of which the external surface area is not over 90% rubber or plastics, including accessories or reinforcements, having open toes or open heels. The rate of duty will be 37.5% ad valorem.

Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUS and the accompanying duty rates are provided on World Wide Web at http://www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/.

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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