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NY N004356

December 22, 2006



TARIFF NO.: 6404.11.70

Ms. Doreen Rizzo
One High Street
North Andover, MA 01845

RE: The tariff classification of a footwear/pen set

Dear Ms. Rizzo:

In your letter dated December 8, 2006, you requested a tariff classification ruling for SR# KD034-07H-477, a child’s size 13 “Chuck Taylor” basketball shoe with two small “Sharpie” felt-tipped pens attached by means of a plastic tie. You suggest that the shoe/pen item should be classified as a “composite good.” The two different colored marking pens are provided to enable the purchaser to color the shoes to their liking.

Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, (HTSUS), is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI).

GRI 2(b) states in part, that the classification of goods consisting of more than one material or substance shall be according to the principles of GRI 3.

GRI 3 states that, when goods are prima facie classifiable under two or more headings, classification shall be effected as follows:

(a) ...when two or more headings each refer to part only of the materials or substances contained in mixed or composite goods...those headings are to be regarded as equally specific in relation to those goods, even if one of them gives a more complete or precise description of the goods.

(b) Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

The Explanatory Note (EN) to GRI 3, provides, in part:

(IX) For the purposes of this Rule, composite goods made up of different components shall be taken to mean not only those in which the components are attached to each other to form a practically inseparable whole but also those with separable components, provided these components are adapted one to the other and are mutually complementary and that together they form a whole which would not normally be offered for sale in separate parts. The footwear/pen combination is not a composite good for tariff classification purposes.

The Explanatory Notes for GRI 3 further state that the term "goods put up in sets for retail sale" means goods that:

(a) consist of at least two different articles prima facie classifiable in different headings (or, by GRI 6, subheadings).

(b) consist of products or articles put together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity; and

(c) are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking.

The footwear/pen combination constitute a “set” in that it meets all the requirements listed in the Explanatory Notes for GRI 3. Specifically, the footwear and pens are prima facie classifiable in different headings. They are put up together to meet a particular need (e.g. to color the footwear), and are sold together in a shoebox directly to the consumer. The essential character of the footwear/pen combination set is imparted by the footwear.

The applicable subheading for the “Chuck Taylor” basketball shoe and pen set will be 6404.11.70, HTSUS, which provides for footwear with outer soles of rubber/plastics and uppers of textile materials: tennis shoes, basketball shoes, gym shoes, training shoes and the like: other: valued over $3 but not over $6.50/pair, other. The general rate of duty will be 90 cents/pair plus 37.5 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/.

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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