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NY N026364

April 28, 2008



TARIFF NO.: 6402.20.0000

Ms. Rebecca Montgomery
New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc.
Distribution Center
10 International Way
Lawrence, MA 01843-1064

RE: The tariff classification of footwear from China

Dear Ms. Montgomery:

In your letter dated April 10, 2008 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The submitted sample, identified as style S601SP, is an open-toe, open-heel “flip-flop” sandal that has a rubber/plastics material upper and sole. This slip-on sandal has a one-piece molded rubber/plastics material upper consisting of “V” shape configured straps with a toe thong, the ends of which penetrate and are secured by plugs into an EVA rubber/plastic sole. The sole is of an approximately uniform thickness that is less than 2 inches thick, measuring 7/8” at its thinnest point and under 1 1/8” at its thickest point. As you state in your letter, the difference in the thickness of the sole is only ¼” and at its thickest point it is not more than 35% thicker than at its thinnest point. The sandal does not have a separate insole.

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 “flip-flop” sandal you have submitted for this ruling exhibits the essential characteristics that are typical of a “zori” and will be classified as “zoris.”

The applicable subheading for the sandal identified as style S601SP will be 6402.20.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for footwear with outer soles and uppers of rubber or plastics, with upper straps or thongs assembled to the sole by means of plugs (zoris). The rate of duty will be Free.

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, it 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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