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NY N006364

February 28, 2007



TARIFF NO.: 6403.59.9061

Mr. Roger J. Crain
Customs Science Services, Inc.
11901 Reynolds Avenue
Potomac, MD 20854-3334

RE: The tariff classification of footwear from the Dominican Republic.

Dear Mr. Crain:

In your letter dated January 30, 2007, on behalf of your client Payless ShoeSource Worldwide, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The submitted half pair sample, identified as style “ABT Spotlight Ballet Shoe,” is a girl’s/child’s size 10½ slip-on ballet shoe with a leather upper and a leather sole. Your letter states that this shoe is ”purported” to be of turn or turned construction, which is sometimes called “stitch and turn construction,” and that this method of construction could have been utilized to make this ballet shoe. You indicate that the upper was sewn through a stiff paperboard midsole and a leather outsole while inside out and as you note, it is possible, although extremely difficult, to turn this shoe right side out again. Your letter, however, does not state whether or not, during the production steps that occurred to make this shoe, a “stitch and turn” method of construction was actually employed.

The term “turn or turned footwear” is not defined in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, (HTSUS). TD 93-88, Footwear Definitions dated October 25, 1993, provides that “turned” is a method of construction, where the upper is stitched to the leather sole wrong side out before the shoe is turned right side out by hand. At the time, an “insole” may be cemented into the shoe, but no additional significant stitching is done. If the “insole” is removed, you should be able to reverse the process and turn the shoe wrong side out again by hand.

The Complete Footwear Dictionary, 1994, compiled and edited by William A. Rossi, defines “turn” construction as a single-sole, flexible shoe, in which the sole and upper are stitched together with a chainstitch while the shoe is inside out on a last. Later, the upper is turned right side out and the shoe is completed. Also known as “hand-turned” process, it is in little use today.

You state that it is possible to turn the “ABT Spotlight Ballet Shoe” inside out, which means that the shoe could have been sewn together inside out and then turned right side out again, but you do not confirm that this was the actual method of construction. In your opinion, if the finished shoe is turned inside out, the upper is permanently distended and a paperboard midsole, also sewn to the leather outsole is cracked and damaged to an unacceptable degree. Based on the facts you have submitted, this shoe is not “turn or turned footwear” made by the “turned” or “stitch and turn” production method used to attach a single sole. The fact that the upper and the stiff paperboard midsole sewn to it will undergo significant damage and stretching when we attempt to turn this shoe sample inside out by hand, indicates that additional significant stitching is utilized to attach more than a single flexible leather sole. The addition of the second, stitched-on paperboard sole make this footwear more than of turn or turned construction.

The applicable subheading for this children’s size 10½ shoe, identified as style “ABT Spotlight Ballet Shoe,” will be 6403.59.9061, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for footwear, with upper’s predominately of leather and outer soles of leather; which does not cover the ankle; other than turn or turned footwear or welt footwear; for other persons. The general rate of duty will be 10% 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/.

We are returning the sample as you requested.

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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