Mr. Jeff Thayer
Triple T Trading, Ltd.
6026 31st Avenue, NE
Marysville, WA 98271

RE: The tariff classification of footwear from China

Dear Mr. Thayer:

In your letter dated August 7, 2012 you requested a tariff classification ruling for four styles of “athletic” footwear.

The submitted half-pair sample identified as style #313501, is a men’s lace-up “training/running” shoe with a rubber or plastics outer sole which overlaps the upper by the requisite ¼ of an inch, thereby constituting a foxing-like band. You provided a material component breakdown of the upper (which does not cover the ankle) by percentage, which shows the constituent material having the greatest external surface area to be predominately textile (70% nylon, 30% rubber or plastics). In a subsequent communication with our office, you provided an F.O.B. value over $3 but not over 6.50/pair. You suggested classification under subheading 6404.11.6930, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, (HTSUS), which provides for in pertinent part; footwear not having a foxing or a foxing-like band and not having soles which overlap the upper other than at the toe or heel.

The applicable subheading for the men’s “athletic” shoe, style #313501 will be 6404.11.7930, HTSUS, which provides for footwear with outer soles of rubber, plastics, leather or composition leather and uppers of textile materials: footwear with outer soles of rubber or plastics: tennis shoes, basketball shoes, gym shoes, training shoes and the like: other: valued over $3 but not over $6.50/pair: having soles (or mid-soles, if any) of rubber or plastics which are affixed to the upper exclusively with an adhesive; footwear having a foxing or a foxing-like band and soles which overlap the upper other than at the toe or heel; other: for men. The rate of duty will be 90 cents/pr. + 37.5 % 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

In reference to the other three styles of “athletic” shoes provided by you, style #’s 413709, 312302 and 313005, we are returning your request for a ruling, and any related samples, exhibits, etc. This letter concerns your request for a classification ruling under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) for footwear with an outer sole composed, in part, of textile material. 

On October 31, 2011, the President of the United States proclaimed the enactment of the modifications to the HTSUS set forth in Investigation No. 1205-8, which was conducted by the U.S. International Trade Commission pursuant to Section 1205(a) of the Omnibus Competitiveness Act of 1988 (19 U.S.C. §3005(a)). These modifications, effective on December 3, 2011 per Federal Register Vol. 26 No. 213, dated November 3, 2011, include the addition of the new Additional U.S. Note 5 to Chapter 64, HTSUS (Note 5), which states, the following:

For the purposes of determining the constituent material of the outer sole pursuant to Note 4(b) to this Chapter, no account shall be taken of textile materials which do not possess the characteristics usually required for normal use of an outer sole, including durability and strength.

At this time, CBP is considering the interpretation of the note and the best method of communicating its proposed interpretation of the note. Such a determination will be made in the near future. For the present, CBP does not intend to issue prospective rulings on textile-soled footwear for outdoor use.

Once that process is concluded, CBP intends to resume issuing prospective rulings. You may, if you wish, resubmit your request for a prospective ruling at that time. In the interim, as with other provisions of the HTSUS, you should use reasonable care to determine whether Note 5 applies to your merchandise. 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 Stacey Kalkines at (646) 733-3042.


Thomas J. Russo
National Commodity Specialist Division