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NY N021314

January 16, 2008



TARIFF NO.: 6402.99.4060

Mr. Michael Lambert
Limited Customs Services, Inc.
Two Limited Parkway
Columbus, OH 43230

RE: The tariff classification of footwear from China

Dear Mr. Lambert:

In your letter dated December 19, 2007, on behalf of Express LLC, you requested a tariff classification ruling for a women’s sandal with a predominately rubber/plastic material upper and a rubber/plastic sole.

The submitted sample, identified as style “Brazen,” is a women’s open-toe, open-heel T-strap fashion sandal with a functionally stitched rubber/plastics material upper that includes two metal rings as strap connectors, an ankle strap with a metal closure buckle and a toe-thong. The upper also features a 2½-inch long metal chain-like accessory or reinforcement, comprised of four rows of glass “gems” in metal settings, that is securely attached at both ends by twin metal rings and covers most of the middle section of the rubber/plastic T-strap at the instep. Based on visual estimates, we have determined that the external surface area of the upper is not over 90 percent rubber or plastics with all accessories or reinforcements included. We do not agree with your contention that the decorative chain-like metal/glass accessory or reinforcement featured on this sandal upper is considered a “loosely attached appurtenance” and excluded from all upper external surface area material measurements. It is not akin to the floppy textile flowers or textile bows secured to an upper only at a single central point, that you have described in your letter as excludable loosely attached appurtenances in some previously issued Customs and Border Protection footwear rulings. Therefore, classification under subheading 6402.99.3165, HTSUS, as you suggest, is not applicable and the sandal will be classified elsewhere.

The applicable subheading for the sandal, style Brazen, will be 6402.99.4060, 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 is not “sports footwear”; which does not cover the ankle; in which the upper’s external surface area does not measure over 90% rubber or plastics (including accessories or reinforcements); other; which has open toes or open heelsfor women. The rate of duty will be 37.5% 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."

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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