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NY N004422

January 4, 2007



TARIFF NO.: 6406.10.65

Peter T. Middleton, Esq.
Middleton & Shrull
50 Mall Road, Suite 205
Burlington, MA 01803-4508

RE: The tariff classification of footwear uppers

Dear Mr. Middleton:

In your letter dated December 11, 2006, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc., for an athletic shoe upper.

You have submitted a sample identified as style 576. The sample is a below the ankle, lace-up athletic shoe upper that you state is over 50 percent leather. The upper has an approximately 1 inch round hole cut out of the bottom of a “stroble sock.”

Additional U.S. Note 4, Chapter 64, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) provides that provisions of subheading 6406.10 for “formed uppers” cover uppers, with closed bottoms, which have been shaped by lasting, molding or otherwise but not by simply closing the bottom.

HQ 966148 dated September 26, 2003 stated the position of United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regarding the classification of footwear uppers. That ruling cites previously issued rulings that held that if a hole is cut in the bottom of a completely formed upper, that upper does not have a “closed bottom” and therefore is not a “formed upper” for tariff classification purposes. Generally, two requirements must be met in order for an upper to be considered formed; (1) the upper material must be shaped, and (2) the bottoms must be completely closed. The hole cut in the bottom of style 576 precludes classification as a “formed upper.”

The applicable subheading for the upper identified as style 576 will be 6406.10.65 HTSUS, which provides for parts of footwear: uppers and parts thereof: other than formed uppers: of leather. The general rate of duty will be free.

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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