Mr. Gregory Watts
Skechers USA Inc.
225 S. Sepulveda Blvd.
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
RE: The tariff classification of footwear from China
Dear Mr. Watts:
In your electronic letter dated April 12, 2018, you requested a tariff classification ruling. The submitted sample, identified as Style 166537, as requested, is being returned to you.
Style 166537 is an infant’s closed-toe, below-the-ankle shoe with a textile removable “liner.” The shoe’s upper is made from polyurethane (PU). It is secured to the foot by a hook and loop strap across the instep. The strap contains a star and the brand name Skechers. The heel features a partial opening and a piece that includes the phrase 3’n-One. It has an outer sole made from synthetic rubber or plastics. Located on the back of the outer sole is the brand name Skechers. There is no foxing or foxing-like band.
The item you referred to as a removable “liner” is considered a bootie. The bootie is made from a sturdy textile knit material. It has a separately attached outer sole made from textile material. It has applied diamond shaped rubber or plastics pieces, arranged in an anti-slip pattern. The rubber/plastic pieces occupy most of the external surface and weigh less than 10 percent of the bootie’s total weight. It features a woven pull-on tab at the vamp and heel, and a sewn-in label with the brand name Skechers. The sandal and bootie are designed to be used separately or in conjunction with one another. Via email you confirmed that the shoe and bootie will be package together for retail sale at the time of importation. You provided the value as $8.45/pair.
We disagree with your suggested classification of the shoe and bootie under subheading 6402.99.3171, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, (HTSUS), which provides for footwear with outer soles and uppers of rubber or plastics.
The shoe is classifiable in heading 6402, HTSUS, which provides for footwear with rubber/plastic uppers, and the bootie under heading 6404, HTSUS, which provides for other footwear with textile uppers and rubber/plastic outer soles. As indicated above, the sandal and bootie are designed to be used separately or in conjunction with one another.
The Explanatory Notes, which constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States at the international level, state in Note (X) to Rule 3 (b) that the term "goods put up in sets for retail sale" means goods which:
(a) consist of at least two different articles which are
prima facie, classifiable in different headings;
(b) consist of products or articles put up together to meet a
particular need or carry out a specific activity;
(c) are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users
The submitted shoe and bootie qualify as “goods put up in sets for retail sale.” It is the opinion of this office that the shoe and bootie share equal importance. As neither the shoe nor bootie impart the essential character of the set, following GRI 3 (c), the set will be classified in the heading which occurs last in numerical order in the HTSUS, in this case heading 6404.
The applicable subheading for Style 166537 will be be 6404.19.3080 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 textile materials: footwear with outer soles of rubber or plastics: other: footwear of the slip-on type; footwear having less than 10 percent by weight of rubber or plastics: other: other: other. The rate of duty will be 12.5% 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 https://hts.usitc.gov/current.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steven A. Mack
National Commodity Specialist Division