Ms. Ruth Texeira
Columbia Sportswear Company
14375 N.W. Science Park Dr.
Portland, OR 97229
RE: The tariff classification of ladies and men’s footwear from China
Dear Ms. Texeira:
In your letter dated November 18, 2009 you requested a tariff classification ruling for two footwear items.
The first submitted sample which you identify as Style NL1588, is a size 7 above the ankle women’s boot that has an outer sole composed of rubber/plastic. It has a “Bean” boot bottom which is labeled waterproof, however, the boot is not considered waterproof footwear under heading 6401 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States since the bottom is attached to the upper by means of stitching. You state in your letter that the upper is composed of cowhide leather with random areas still having the cow’s hair on the leather hide. These random areas of cow’s hair negate the definition of leather as defined by note 3(b) to Chapter 64, which refers to the term leather to the goods of headings 4107 and 4112 to 4114. The boot also has a leather heel tab and vamp and a four inch shearling wool collar that encircles the top of the boot shaft. Based on the material component breakdown of the boot provided by you, the upper is composed predominately of materials other than rubber/plastics, leather or composition leather and textile.
The applicable subheading for Style NL1588 women’s boot will be 6405.90.9000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for other footwear: other: other: The rate of duty will be 12.5% ad valorem.
The second submitted sample which you identify as Style# S1MF37688, is a men’s below the ankle casual shoe that has an outer sole composed of rubber/plastics and a 1 ¾” wide rubber strap with a hook and loop closure. This strap originates from and is part of the outer sole and covers the vamp of the shoe. As such, it provides structural strength to the shoe and is included in the measurement of the external surface area of the upper. The upper is also composed of both textile and leather materials. You state in your letter that should the strap be included in the measurement of the external surface area of the upper, the shoe would be majority leather. We agree with your assessment. The shoe also has a foxing or foxing-like band and an F.O.B. value greater than $12.00/pair.
The applicable subheading for Style# S1MF37688 men’s casual shoe will be 6403.99.6075, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for footwear with outer soles of rubber/plastics, leather or composition leather and uppers of leather: other footwear: other: other: other: other: for men, youths and boys: other: other: for men: other. The rate of duty will be 8.5% ad valorem.
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 sample identified as Style# S1MF37688 has Columbia® prominently printed on the heel area of the footbed. Section 134.46 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.46) provides that in any case where the words "U.S.," "American," or any variation of such words or letters, or the name of any city or locality in the U.S., or the name of any foreign country or locality other than the country or locality in which the article was manufactured or produced, appear on any imported article or its container, there shall appear, legibly and permanently, in close proximity to such words, letters or name, and at least in a comparable size, the name of the country of origin preceded by "Made in," "Product of," or other words of similar meaning.
Section 134.47 provides as follows: When as part of a trademark or trade name or as part of a souvenir marking, the name of a location in the United States or "United States" or "America" appear, the article shall be legibly, conspicuously, and permanently marked to indicate the name of the country of origin of the article preceded by "Made in," "Product of," or other similar words, in close proximity or in some other conspicuous location. The purpose of 19 CFR 134.46 and 134.47 is to prevent the ultimate purchaser from being misled or deceived when the name of a country or place other than the country of origin appears on an imported article or its container. The sample imported as is will be considered not legally marked.
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
National Commodity Specialist Division