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NY L88785

February 15, 2006

CLA-2-64:RR:NC:SP:247 L88785


TARIFF NO.: 6406.10.9040

Ms. Stacey Nesseth
Red Wing Shoe Company, Inc.
314 Main Street
Red Wing, MN 55066-2337

RE: The tariff classification of an unformed boot upper from China.

Dear Ms. Nesseth:

In your letter dated January 19, 2006 you requested a classification ruling to determine if your submitted sample of a textile fabric boot upper is considered an upper that is not a “formed upper,” if it does not have a bottom that is completely closed.

The submitted sample, identified as Item #43858, is a man-made textile material boot upper with a liner and, as you state, with an attached “stroble sock” sewn onto the bottom. There is an approximately 1-inch diameter hole that has been cut out of the sock bottom in the heel area of an otherwise closed underfoot. The heel and the front toe areas of this boot upper have been formed to shape by plastic stiffeners. You state that once these uppers are imported into the United States, additional materials and processing are required to close the bottom and to transform the unfinished upper into completed footwear. You have listed the various assembly steps that you state will be performed and which are still required to produce the completed boot. These assembly steps are: Chlorinate the toe, in order to cement rubber to rubber sole Match the sole to the upper and mark the upper Cement the upper to the marked line, cement the outsole completely Dry cements and then activate the cement
Press the sole to the upper
Insert footbed and laces
Finish shoe and pack

In determining whether or not to classify uppers as “formed,” one of the factors we look to is whether or not the bottom of the upper is closed. Since the submitted sample upper has a completely sewn on sock bottom, we could say that the upper has a closed bottom. However, this boot upper does have an approximately 1-inch wide hole cut out of its bottom. Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 085573, dated December 28, 1989, stated that, “uppers which have substantial openings cut out of the bottoms are not closed within the meaning of Additional U.S. Note 4 to chapter 64, Supra.” Additionally, HRL 954790, dated September 28, 1993, ruled that the term “formed uppers” did not include moccasin uppers with a significant sized hole (the size of a nickel or larger) in their bottom layer, whether or not the upper is fully formed (lasted), unless the piece, which will cover that opening, was in the same shipment. Since this sample boot upper has an opening of as much as 1-inch in diameter (nickel size or larger) cut out of its bottom and provided that the piece, which will cover this opening, is not in the same shipment at importation, this upper will not be considered as “formed uppers” for tariff classification purposes.

The applicable subheading for this boot upper, identified as Item #43858, will be 6406.10.9040, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for footwear uppers and parts thereof, which are not “formed uppers,” and in which the upper’s external surface is predominately of textile materials of man-made fibers. The general duty rate will be 4.5% 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 boot upper falls within textile category designation 669. Quota and visa status are the result of international agreements that are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes. To obtain the most current information as to whether quota and visa requirements apply to this merchandise, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the “Textile Status Report for Absolute Quotas” available at our web site at www.cbp.gov. In addition, you will find current information on textile import quotas, textile safeguard actions and related issues at the web site of the Office of Textiles and Apparel, at otexa.ita.doc.gov.

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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