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NY N019519

November 29, 2007



TARIFF NO.: 6402.19.1541, 4202.92.3031

Ms. Elsie Holler
Pearl Izumi USA, Inc.
620 Compton Street
Broomfield, CO 80020

RE: The tariff classification of footwear and bag from China

Dear Ms. Holler:

In your letter dated November 1, 2007, you requested a tariff classification ruling for a woman’s cycling shoe identified as “Octane SL Cycling Shoe, Style 5712” and a nylon zipper bag. The submitted footwear sample is a below-the-ankle, cycling shoe with an outer sole and upper of rubber/plastics. The shoe has three hook & loop closure straps across the instep. The outer sole features three metal screws designed to accommodate a bicycle pedal. You suggest that the footwear and bag are a composite good for tariff classification purposes.

Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods shall be determined according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative Section or Chapter Notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI may then be applied. The Explanatory Notes (EN) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, which represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, facilitate classification under the HTSUS by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRI.

The shoe and bag cannot be classified by reference to GRI 1 because they are two individual components classifiable in different headings, i.e., 4202 and 6402, HTSUS. In pertinent part, GRI 2(b) states that:

[t]he classification of goods consisting of more than one material or substance shall be according to the principles of rule 3.

GRI 3(a) directs that the headings are regarded as equally specific when they each refer to part only of the materials contained in composite goods, or of the items in a set put up for retail sale. Whether the separate headings in this case are regarded as equally specific depends upon whether the shoe and bag constitute a composite good or a set put up for retail sale.

We look to GRI 3(b), which states in part that:
goods...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.

As with GRI 3(a) above, the applicability of GRI 3(b) is dependent upon whether the complete article is deemed to comprise a composite good or a set. In pertinent part,

Explanatory Note IX to GRI 3(b) indicates that:

For 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.

In this instance, the shoe and bag are separable but not mutually complementary. The bag is designed to store, carry, and/or protect the footwear. The footwear and zipper bag are items normally offered for sale separately. Therefore, we find that the shoe and bag do not comprise a composite good.

The applicable subheading for the shoe identified as “Octane SL Cycling Shoe, Style 5712” will be 6402.19.1541, HTSUS, which provides for footwear with outer soles and uppers of rubber/plastics: sports footwear: other: having uppers of which over 90 percent of the external surface area (including accessories or reinforcements) is rubber or plastics, not having a foxing or foxing-like band and not protective: other: for women. The general rate of duty will be 5.1 percent ad valorem.

The item that you referred to as a "shoe bag" is a multi-use travel bag, similar to a toiletry bag. It is designed to provide protection, portability, organization, and storage to shoes or other personal effects during travel. It is constructed with an outer surface of man-made textile material. It features a carry handle and a front zippered opening. It is of a durable construction and suitable for repetitive reuse. It measures 12" (H) x 8" (W) x 5”(D).

The applicable subheading for the bag will be 4202.92.3031, HTSUS, which provides for travel, sport, and similar, with outer surface of man-made textile materials. The duty rate will be 17.6%.

HTSUS 4202.92.3031 falls within textile category 670. With the exception of certain products of China, quota/visa requirements are no longer applicable for merchandise, which is the product of World Trade Organization (WTO) member countries. The textile category number above applies to merchandise produced in non-WTO member-countries. Quota and visa requirements are the result of international agreements that are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes. To obtain the most current information on quota and visa requirements applicable to this merchandise, we suggest you check, close to the time of shipment, the "Textile Status Report for Absolute Quotas" which is available on our web site at www.cbp.gov. For current information regarding possible textile safeguard actions on goods from China and related issues, we refer you to the web site of the Office of Textiles and Apparel of the Department of Commerce at otexa.ita.doc.gov.

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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