CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 082075 DSN
John B. Pellegrini, Esquire
Ross & Hardies
575 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10017-2470
Re: Classification of footwear
Dear Mr. Pellegrini:
Your inquiry of December 11, 1987, on behalf of the
Timberland Company, addressed to our New York office concerning
classification of certain types of footwear under the Harmonized
Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), was
referred to this office for a direct reply. Two samples were
originally submitted and three additional samples were later
furnished. All samples were manufactured in the Dominican
The first sample, which we have labelled number 1, is a
three eyelet oxford with padded collar and tongue. The oxford is
fully shaped and has been back-part lasted as evidenced by the
shaped heel in the rear of the shoe. The upper is lined with
leather and has a single oblong shaped opening measuring
approximately one and one half inches long by three quarters of
an inch wide. The hole is cut approximately one inch forward
from the back of the heel.
The second sample, which we have labelled number 2, is a
penny loafer which is considered fully shaped by way of a visible
line inside the rear area. This line is evidently the result of
the upper being placed on a last or some other device, which
gives the leather a permanent turn inward to form the flat
surface. The plastic inside counter at the extreme rear of the
loafer has not been shaped, the leather tab which covers it has
been turned inward to form a horizontal ridge. The loafer has an
oblong shaped hole measuring approximately three and one half
inches long, by one half to a quarter inch wide. The hole runs
from the back of the heel to the mid-arch. In addition, there is
a circular hole about one inch in front of the other hole
described above, which measures approximately three quarters of
inch in diameter.
The additional samples are labelled A, B and C. Sample A
is a three eyelet moccasin type upper which is closed at the
bottom. The sample appears not to have been back-part lasted.
The sample has a "kicker" which forms the back part of the upper.
According to your submissions, the vamp portion was hand sewn on
a last and then removed. The upper was not dried on a last. The
uppers will have to be soaked, relasted and dried on a last after
importation into the United States in order to give the moccasin
its final shape and form.
Sample B is a loafer type upper with a tongue. The loafer
has an oblong shaped hole measuring approximately four and three
quarter inches long, by one and one half inches wide. This hole
runs from the back of the heel to the mid-arch. The leather
around the heel area falls into a straight position, and has no
"tuck". Like the second sample, there is a circular hole which
measures approximately three quarters of an inch in diameter.
According to your submissions, the upper was dried on a last but
was not back part lasted. The back-part lasting operation would
take place after importation into the United States.
Sample C is identical in design to sample "B" except that
the vamp was not dried on a last. Acccording to your submission,
the upper would have to be soaked, re-lasted and dried after
importation into the United States in order to obtain its final
Whether the samples at issue are classified as formed
uppers or other uppers under the HTSUSA.
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Formed uppers and other uppers are within Heading 6406,
HTSUSA, which provides for parts of footwear, removable insoles,
heel cushions and similar articles, gaiters, leggings and similar
articles, and parts, thereof. Subheading 6406.10.05, HTSUSA,
provides for uppers and parts thereof, formed uppers, of leather.
Subheading 6406.10.65, HTSUSA, provides for uppers and parts
The term formed upper is not clearly defined under the
HTSUSA, nor by the Explanatory Notes which constitute the
official interpretation of the tariff at the international level.
Additional United States Note 4 to Chapter 64 provides an
indication of the intention of the drafters of the provision.
Note 4 to Chapter 64, HTSUSA, states that formed uppers cover
uppers, with closed bottoms, which have been shaped by lasting,
molding or otherwise but not by simply closing at the bottom.
You state in your original inquiry, that samples 1 and 2
cannot be considered as having closed bottoms because they have
holes cut out. We construe the phrase closed bottoms as uppers
which are substantially closed. It is our view that
substantially closed means that more of the lower surface that is
intended to cover the bottom of the foot is present, than is
absent. Samples 1 and 2 are substantially closed because more of
the lower surface is present than absent. Moreover, samples 1
and 2 have been shaped all around their perimeters by more than
simply closing at the bottom. Sample 1 is completely back-part
lasted. The narrow one inch wide heel tab is the only part of
the back of sample 2 which is partially lasted, the balance of
the back part being fully lasted. We note that the partial
lasting at the heel of sample 2 is so minimal that it is still
considered fully formed.
Moreover, we distinguish samples 1 and 2 from the uppers
described in Headquarters Ruling Letter 080786 of October 15,
1987. That ruling dealt with parts for moccasin-type loafers.
The uppers had not been back-part lasted, whereas samples 1 and 2
have been back-part lasted and are considered fully formed.
The analysis for samples A, B, and C is somewhat different.
None of these samples have been back-part lasted and all require
further processing to attain their final shape. With respect to
sample A, the limited amount of shaping as a result of the
stitching precludes it from being classified as a formed upper.
With respect to samples B and C, the degree of shaping is
minimal. Since neither of these samples has been back-part
lasted and they need to be soaked, re-lasted and dried after
importation in order to obtain their final shape, they are
precluded from classification as a formed upper.
In view of the foregoing, samples 1 and 2 are classified
under subheading 6406.10.0500, HTSUSA, as parts of footwear,
removable insoles, heel cushions and similar articles, uppers and
parts thereof, formed uppers, of leather or composition leather,
for men, youths and boys. The merchandise is dutiable at the
rate of 8.5 percent ad valorem.
Samples A, B and C are classified under subheading
6406.10.65, HTSUSA, which provides for parts of footwear, uppers
and parts thereof, other of leather. The merchandise is dutiable
at the rate of 3.7 percent ad valorem. This classification
decision is under the HTSUSA, effective January 1, 1989, subject
to changes in the law before the effective date.
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division