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NY M84930

July 21, 2006

CLA-2-64:RR:NC:247: M84930


TARIFF NO.: 6403.99.90

Mr. Michael R. Spano
Michael R. Spano & Co., Inc.
190 McKee Street
Floral Park, NY 11001

RE: The tariff classification of footwear.

Dear Mr. Spano:

In your letter dated May 18, 2006, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of Mark Tucker Inc., for a woman’s slip-on shoe with an upper of leather. The submitted sample, style number MT 087, has an outer sole composed of three rubber/plastics pads of approximately ¼ inch height projecting from the leather bottom of the shoe. These pads have a thin layer (approximately 1/32 inch) of what you describe as 68% leather fibers adhered to the outer surface of the rubber/plastics pads. The shoe also has an attached heel of rubber/plastics. The attached heel does not have a layer of leather fibers adhered to the outer surface.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. While not legally binding, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS and are thus useful in ascertaining the classification of merchandise under the Harmonized System.

As you may know, the WCO’s Harmonized System Committee recently issued an amendment to the Explanatory Notes, Chapter 64, General, item (C) concerning outer soles. The Note states:

The term “outer sole” as used in headings 64.01 to 64.05 means that part of the footwear (other than an attached heel) which, when in use, is in contact with the ground. The constituent material of the outer sole for purposes of classification shall be taken to be the material having the greatest surface area in contact with the ground. In determining the constituent material of the outer sole, no account should be taken of attached accessories or reinforcements which partly cover the sole. These accessories or reinforcements include spikes, bars, nails, protectors or similar attachments (including a thin layer of textile flocking (e.g., for creating a design) or a detachable textile material, applied to but not embedded in the sole).

The thin layer of leather fibers adhered to the rubber/plastics sole segments on Style MT 087 is a “similar attachment” to the textile material “applied to but not embedded in the sole” cited in the Note and is therefore not taken into account in determining the constituent material of the outer sole. The constituent material of the outer sole, comprising the greatest external surface area in contact with the ground, when in use, for Style MT 087, is rubber/plastics.

You suggest that the shoe is “turn or turned construction” and subject to classification under subheading 6403.59.15 Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, (HTSUS). In order to be considered turn or turned footwear for purposes of the HTSUS, the footwear must have a single leather sole stitched to the leather upper while the shoe is inside-out on the last. After removal from the last the shoe is flipped or turned right side out. In this regard, Style MT 087 is not turn or turned footwear for tariff classification purposes.

The applicable subheading for Style MT 087 will be 6403.99.90, HTSUS, which provides for footwear with outer soles of rubber/plastics and uppers of leather, other, for other persons, valued over $2.50/pair. The rate of duty will be 10 percent 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/.

The submitted sample is not marked with the country of origin. Therefore, if imported as is, it will not meet the country of origin marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304. Accordingly, the footwear would be considered not legally marked under the provisions of 19 C.F.R. 134.11 which states, "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 container) will permit, in such manner as to indicate to the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. the English name of the country of origin of the article."

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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