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NY N025436

April 10, 2008

MAR-2 OT:RR:NC:64:247


Mr. John J. Kenney
Reebok International Ltd.
1895 J.W. Foster Boulevard
Canton, MA 02021


Dear Mr. Kenney:

This is in response to your letter dated March 26, 2008 requesting a ruling on whether the proposed marking "Made in Vietnam" molded into the outer sole in close proximity to the shoe size is an acceptable country of origin marking for imported footwear. A marked sample was submitted with your letter for review.

The sample shoe identified as “Jell-ousy” is a ladies size 7 rubber/plastics one-piece molded slip-on shoe with a permanently attached elastic textile strap across the instep. You state that the textile strap accounts for less than 10 percent of the external surface area of the upper when accessories or reinforcements are included. There is a removable foam insole inside the shoe. The separately attached textile strap precludes classification as “sandals and similar footwear of plastics, produced in one piece by molding” as you suggest.

The applicable subheading for style “Jell-ousy” will be 6402.99.3165, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, (HTSUS) which provides for footwear with outer soles and uppers of rubber or plastics: 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 rate of duty will be 6 percent ad valorem.

The marking statute, section 304, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), provides that, unless excepted, 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 its container) will permit, in such a manner as to indicate to the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. the English name of the country of origin of the article.

As provided in section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(b)), the country of origin marking is considered conspicuous if the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. is able to find the marking easily and read it without strain.

With regard to the permanency of a marking, section 134.41(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(a)), provides that as a general rule marking requirements are best met by marking worked into the article at the time of manufacture. For example, it is suggested that the country of origin on metal articles be die sunk, molded in, or etched. However, section 134.44, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.44), generally provides that any marking that is sufficiently permanent so that it will remain on the article until it reaches the ultimate purchaser unless deliberately removed is acceptable.

The proposed marking of the imported footwear, as described above, is conspicuously, legibly and permanently marked in satisfaction of the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134 and is an acceptable country of origin marking.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 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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