Mr. Eric Smithweiss
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz and Silverman
245 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10167-0002
RE: The tariff classification of leather uppers from the Dominican
Republic (DO), HTS General Note 7
Dear Mr Smithweiss:
In your letter, dated 10-21-96, you requested a tariff
classification and Caribbean Basin status ruling.
Both items, labeled Holland and Finland via paper stickers,
are leather, open-backed uppers stitched to leather socklinings.
You indicate that the leather material is the product neither of
the USA nor, we assume, any CBERA entity. The leather will be cut
to shape in DO and then stitched together. This stitching gives
the socklining a pronounced concave shape. There are no stiffeners
(box toe, etc.) added to the leather upper to give it shape. We
agree, based on our examination and your statements, that, at most,
"de minimis" shaping of this item has taken place other than that
for the simple closing of its bottom. The attachment of the clog
bottom in the USA will also necessarily require substantial
additional shaping of this upper.
The applicable subheading for both uppers will be
6406.10.6500, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States
(HTS), which provides for, inter alia, shoe uppers which are less
than formed uppers and in which the upper's external surface is
predominately leather. The duty rate will be 2.2 percent.
Articles classifiable under subheading 6406.10.6500, HTS,
which are products of the Dominican Republic are entitled to duty
free treatment under the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act
(CBERA), HTS General Note 7, upon compliance with all applicable
You specifically asked whether the cost of the leather will be
counted for the purposes of the 35 percent rule in HTS General Note
We agree that NYRL 806444, dated 3-1-95, which did count the
cost of the leather in a similar upper, is controlling. We note
that the third example in CR 10.196 indicates that a leather hide
tanned, cut to shape and then assembled to other components counts
towards the 35 percent. However, the example does not state that
those steps are all necessary for that conclusion, and the cutting
to shape of sheet materials and assembling them into an upper is
sufficient, noting HRL 555113, 10-26-89.
Since the cost of the leather is included along with the DO
labor, etc., we agree that the 35 percent test is easily met even
without going into the status of the buckle and velcro in each
We assume that shipments of these uppers will not be
individually labelled either Holland or Finland. If so, the
misleading origin statements would need to be addressed.
You requested that we return your samples. They are being
returned in a separate mailing.
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 J. Sheridan at 212-466-
Roger J. Silvestri