Mr. John T. Hyatt
CH Powell Company
3500 N. Causeway Blvd., Suite 410
Metairie, LA 70002
RE: The tariff classification of footwear produced in the El Salvador and the eligibility for preferential treatment under the Dominican Republic - Central America - United States Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA).
Dear Mr. Hyatt:
In your letter dated October 3, 2018, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client Co Expo, Ltd., Grand Cayman, British West Indies. Your request concerns the eligibility for preferential duty treatment of shoe covers under the DR-CAFTA. You have included a sample of style # 14 P7 301G ES-D DP.
Style # 14 P7 301G ES-D DP is a unisex, closed toe/closed heel, shoe cover with an outer sole of rubber/plastics. The upper is taffeta polyester textile material. There is a textile strap with a plastic closure across the forefoot of the shoe. The footwear is designed to be worn in a clean room environment such as a laboratory or food service facility. You state the value is $10.32 per pair.
You suggest classification of 6404.19.8290, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for outer soles with textile materials having the greatest surface area in contact with ground, but not taken into account under the terms of additional U.S. note 5 of this chapter. We disagree. The outer soles consist of rubber or plastics with no attached textile materials, therefore it will be classified elsewhere.
The applicable subheading for style #14 P7 301G ES-D DP will be 6404.19.8960, 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: other: valued over $6.50 but not over $12/pair: other: for women (unisex). The rate of duty will be 90 cents/pair + 20 percent ad valorem.
The footwear is manufactured in the Dominican Republic from non-originating polyester taffeta fabric sourced from China, and originating fabric and outer soles from the United States, and findings, straps, labels, ID tag, stainless steel sockets/prongs, elastic, ribbon, bag, sticker box and tape originating from El Salvador, Costa Rica, and the United States.
General Note 29, HTSUS, sets forth the criteria for determining whether a good is originating under the DR-CAFTA. General Note 29(b), HTSUS, (19 U.S.C. 1202) states, in pertinent part, that
For the purposes of this note, subject to the provisions of subdivisions (c), (d), (m) and (n) thereof, a good imported into the customs territory of the United States is eligible for treatment as an originating good under the terms of this note if-
(i) the good is a good wholly obtained or produced entirely in the territory of one or more of the parties to the Agreement;
(ii) the good was produced entirely in the territory of one or more of the parties to the Agreement, and-
(A) each of the non-originating materials used in the production of the good undergoes an applicable change in tariff classification specified in subdivision (n) of this note; ...
The non-originating materials must undergo an applicable change in tariff classification in order to meet the requirements of GN 29(b)(ii)(A).
General Note 29 (n), Chapter 64, Chapter rule 1 states:
Notwithstanding the tariff classification rules for goods of chapter 64 set forth below, with respect to goods of chapter 64 falling in the following tariff provisions enumerated in this rule for which a rate of duty followed by the symbol "P" in parentheses appears in the "Special" sub column rate of duty column 1, an importer may claim preferential tariff treatment under this note for a good of chapter 64 that meets any tariff classification rule for such good set forth in general note 12, 17, 25, 26 or 28 of the tariff schedule:
tariff items 6401.92.30, 6401.92.60, 6401.99.80, 6402.12.00 through 6402.30.30 inclusive, 6402.30.60, 6402.30.90, 6402.91.40, 6402.91.60, 6402.91.70, 6402.99.05 through 6402.99.18, inclusive, and 6402.99.30 through 6402.99.79, inclusive; heading 6403; tariff items 6404.11.20 through 6404.19.15, inclusive, and 6404.19.25 through 6404.20.60, inclusive; and headings 6405 and 6406.
2. A change to any other tariff item of chapter 64 from any other subheading.
Footwear classified in 6404.19.25 through 6404.20.60, inclusive, may claim preferential tariff treatment. The polyester taffeta material sourced from China, classified in chapter 54 if imported separately, manufactured into completed shoe covers in El Salvador with the originating materials, undergoes a tariff shift and will meet the requirements under the DR-CAFT General Notes 29(b)(ii)(A) and General Note 29 (n), Chapter 64, Chapter rule 1(2). Based on the facts provided, the shoe cover style # 14 P7 301G ES-D DP qualifies for preferential duty treatment upon compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and agreements.
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