Mr. Michael Skidmore
Tower Group Int'l
Boston, MA 02101-3022
RE: The tariff classification of uppers from the Dominican
Republic (DO), CBI-2, HTS Gen. Note 7
Dear Mr. Skidmore:
In your letter dated 1-12-95, received here 1-31-95, for New
Balance Athletic Shoe Company, you requested a tariff
Your letter presents four "scenarios" concerning the two
samples you submitted of stock MK720 at two different stages of
completion. Scenarios 1 and 3 concern the light tan moccasin which
has not been back part lasted and has about a 4 inch by 1 inch
hole in its bottom rear. Scenarios 2 and 4 concern a dark brown
sample, which is the same as the light tan one except it has been
lasted to a back part, cardboard insole with a steel shank. In
Scenarios 1 and 2, the leather hides and all other materials will
be products of the USA which, we assume, will be sent directly to
DO from the USA, but in Scenarios 3 and 4, the leather will be a
product of Mexico.
Since your letter specifically asks about preferential
treatment, we assume you are interested only in the classification
which would produce the lowest duty, consistent with the facts you
Scenario 1- You state, "The value of the materials is $18.73
and the cost of the added labor is $4.10." The applicable
subheading for Scenario 1 will be 9802.00.5010, Harmonized Tariff
Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for, free of
duty, articles, which were returned to the US after having been
exported for repairs or alterations, not made pursuant to a
warranty, and which meet the conditions of US note 2-b to
Subchapter II of Chapter 98. We assume that you will be able to
supply the port of entry with whatever documents or other evidence
it deems necessary to confirm that those conditions have, in fact,
been met. Customs Headquarters has issued no directives or
guidelines so it would likely be useful to discuss the
documentation and evidence required with the Customs personnel in
each district in which you may make entry.
Per Statistical Note 2 to Subchapter II, you must split out on
the Customs entry, "the dutiable value, i.e., the value of the
foreign processing" and assign to it the classification that would
ordinarily apply in the absence of US note 2-b to that Subchapter.
This value appears to be the $4.10 which you cite. Note that in
this context there is never any duty actually payable on this
"dutiable value". The classification that would ordinarily apply to
this style is 6406.10.6500.
Further note that, per that note, the 2 lines reported must
add up to the "total value of the article". This value includes
the cost of freight and handling to send the materials to DO, which
your statement does not appear to account for, as well as all other
costs incurred by the buyer prior to shipment of the article to the
Articles classifiable under subheading 6406.10.6500, HTS,
which are products of DO are also entitled to duty free treatment
under the "regular" CBI, i.e., under HTS General Note 7, upon
compliance with all applicable regulations. Note that the pieces
cut from the leather are treated as "materials produced" in the DO
for the purposes of the "35 percent rule" in HTS General Note 7-b-
i-B so that test is easily met in this scenario. These articles
are excluded from duty free treatment under the Generalized System
of Preferences (GSP) per HTS General Note 4-d.
Scenario 2- You state, "Total cost of materials is $19.23;
cost of added labor is $4.30." The applicable subheading is
9802.00.5010, HTS, as in the above. Regarding 9802.00.5010, there
are two differences from Scenario 1. First, the classification
that would ordinarily apply is 6406.10.1000, as a "formed" upper of
leather for, we assume, other than only men, boys or youths since
you have given no information regarding the eventual wearers.
Second, the "dutiable value" would be $4.30 per pair.
Neither GSP nor "regular" CBI is possible.
Scenario 3- Here, the light tan upper is classified in
6406.10.6500, HTS, dutiable at 3 percent, which provides for
"unformed" uppers of leather. It is not classifiable in
As in Scenario 1, the total value is presumably eligible for
duty free treatment under "regular CBI". The pieces cut in DO from
the Mexican leather are treated as "materials produced" in the DO.
GSP does not apply.
Scenario 4- The lasted upper is classified in 6406.10.1000,
dutiable at 10 percent, as described above in Scenario 2.
Neither 9802.00.5010, nor GSP, nor "regular" CBI apply so we
assume you are interested in the possibility of a partial duty
Assuming that the counter is cut to shape in the USA and that
the amounts you cite for the counter, the tuck and shank, and the
thread are their cost as they leave the USA, approximately $.92
per pair will be separately classifiable under 9802.00.8065, free
of duty, as articles, not assembled in Mexico, that were assembled
abroad of fabricated components, the products of the United States,
which were exported in condition ready for assembly without further
fabrication, which have not lost their physical identity, and which
have not been advanced in value or improved in condition abroad
except by being assembled and except by operations incidental to
the assembly process. We have not included in the $.92 the $.10
for "cement-finished upper thread" since cement, in general, is not
a "component" for assembly purposes and we are not clear what the
"finished upper thread" is.
Note that, per Statistical Note 1 to Subchapter II of HTS
Chapter 98, the "dutiable value", here classified in HTS
6406.10.1000, is the "total value of the article less the value of
U.S. fabricated components" and that the "dutiable value" is, in
fact, dutiable in this context. See our comments concerning "total
value" in Scenario 1.
Your samples are being returned to you as you requested.
This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section
177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).
A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry
documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the
documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be
brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the
Jean F. Maguire
New York Seaport