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NY N016708

September 21, 2007



TARIFF NO.: 6402.99.3165

Ms. Cynthia Reccord
Impo International, Inc.
3510 Black Road
P.O. Box 639
Santa Maria, CA 93456-0639

RE: The tariff classification of footwear from China

Dear Ms. Reccord:

In your letter dated August 31, 2007 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The submitted half pair sample, identified as ID #761-280, is a women’s slip-on, open-toe, open-heel toe-thong sandal with what you say is a “clear jelly” molded rubber/plastic material upper attached to a unit molded rubber/plastic outsole by plugs. The molded rubber/plastic outsole is neither completely flat, nor is it of uniform thickness, since it varies in thickness from ¼-inch at its thinnest point to more than ½-inch at its thickest point. It also has a molded concaved topside footbed and it even has separately identifiable 1/8-inch high raised heel. Additionally, the sandal’s upper does not consist of unit molded rubber/plastic straps which form a “V” or “Y” with a toe-thong, but instead is in the shape of a single large 2½-inch wide triangular shaped vamp strap with tapering ends and a toe-thong piece. The triangle shaped upper also features four large clear plastic jewel-like stones sewn on to its external surface. Because of the configuration of the upper and the non-uniformity of the thickness of its sole, this sandal is not considered to be classifiable as a “zori.”

In TD 93-88 dated October 25, 1993 certain “Footwear Definitions” were published to provide some guidelines used by Customs to classify footwear under Chapter 64 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedules of the United States. Briefly, some standard characteristics of a “zori” include an upper, which is a single molded piece of rubber/plastic; the upper either has straps (segments) which form a “V” or “Y” and a thong which goes between the first and second toes or has straps (segments) which form an “X”; a rubber/plastic outsole that is less than 2 inches thick at its thickest point; the outsole must not have a separate insole and the outsole is approximately uniform in thickness, i.e., the thickest point is neither more than 3/8-inch thicker than the thinnest point nor more than 35 percent thicker than the thinnest point. We note that the sample footwear item you have submitted for this ruling has an upper and an outsole with several characteristics that are not typical of a “zori” and therefore it cannot be classified as such.

The applicable subheading for the women’s sandal, identified as ID 3761-280, will be 6402.99.3165, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for footwear, in which both the upper's and outer sole's external surface is predominately rubber and/or plastics; which does not cover the ankle; in which the upper's external surface area measures over 90% rubber and/or plastics (including any accessories or reinforcements); which does not have a foxing-like band; and which is not designed to be a protection against water, oil, grease or chemicals or cold or inclement weather. The rate of duty will be 6% 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, the footwear 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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