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NY N017796

October 25, 2007



TARIFF NO.: 6402.99.4080

Mr. Roger J. Crain
Customs Science Services, Inc.
11901 Reynolds Avenue
Potomac, MD 20817-1113

RE: The tariff classification of footwear from China

Dear Mr. Crain:

In your letter dated September 25, 2007 you requested a classification ruling on behalf of Payless ShoeSource Worldwide for two girls plastic sandals identified as “Coasters Flower Sandal, SR No. 0709407C4” and “teenytoes Molly H-Band Sandal, Lot No. 59905; SR No. 3308407A3.”

The submitted samples have outer soles and uppers of rubber/plastics. Both styles have open toes and heels. The shoes have heel straps that secure to the foot by means of hook & loop D-ring closures. The vamps on both styles are decorated with three plastic cut out flowers with textile embroidery. The three flowers attached to the upper on style “Coasters Flower Sandal, SR No. 0709407C4” are fastened by a single rivet each. The three flowers attached to the upper on style “teenytoes Molly H-Band Sandal, Lot No. 59905; SR No. 3308407A3” are fastened by a “single tight circle of stitches.” Your ruling request concerns the measurement of the flower decorations, specifically, are the flowers disregarded as “Loosely Attached Appurtenances” or are they considered accessories or reinforcements? You seek clarification on five specific issues.

Is there any limit to the number of so-called “loosely Attached Appurtenances” on a shoe? Does a single circle of stitches of the same diameter as a single metal rivet constitute a “single point of attachment” for the purpose of designating the ornament as a “Loosely Attached Appurtenance” rather than as an “Accessory?” Assuming that one of the criteria for designating an ornament as a “Loosely Attached Appurtenance” is its ability to “flop around” as it were, do all of the flowers on these sandals meet this criterion? If the flowers on the sandals are designated as Accessories and not as “Loosely Attached Appurtenances,” then does the lab measure the area of textile embroidery by (1) measuring the area of each thread of the embroidery or by (2) measuring the entire area defined by drawing a circle around the entire pattern of embroidery? After all is said & done, what is the HTS classifications of the Coasters Flower Sandal, and what is the HTS classification of the teenytoes “Molly” H-Band sandal?

In regard to issue 1, this office is not aware of any restriction or limit on the number of “Loosely Attached appurtenances” on a shoe.

In regard to issue 2, in the past, the CBP has ruled that items such as strips, buttons, pompoms, etc. which are attached to the upper by rivets, gluing, stitching (tacked) at one or two points and which serve as decorations are not to be treated as part of the exterior surface area of the upper if their removal does not render the shoe unserviceable as footwear. It is the opinion of this office that a “circle of stitches” is not “loosely attached.”

In regard to issue 3, loosely attached appurtenances are generally three-dimensional ornaments (textile flowers, bows, etc.) that “flop around” and cannot be measured in any meaningful way.

In regard to issue 4, generally, for “filled-in” embroidery, the area is defined by drawing a line around the embroidery and measuring the area inside the line.

In regard to issue 5, the applicable subheading for “Coasters Flower Sandal, SR No. 0709407C4” and “teenytoes Molly H-Band Sandal, Lot No. 59905; SR No. 3308407A3” will be 6402.99.4080, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for footwear with outer soles and uppers of rubber or plastics: other: not having uppers of which over 90 percent of the external surface area (including accessories or reinforcements) is rubber or plastics: footwear with open toes or open heels: other: other. The duty rate will be 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/.

The submitted samples are not marked with the country of origin. Therefore, if imported as is, they 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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