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 2, 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/boot covers under the DR-CAFTA. The submitted sample is identified as style number 14 B1 2141 ES D DP. In addition, you are requesting eligibility for style number 14 BI 2503 ES-D DP which is virtually identical, excluding snaps at the topline.
Style numbers 14 B1 2141 ES D DP and 14 BI 2503 ES-D DP are unisex, closed toe/closed heel, above-the-ankle, below-the-knee, shoe/boot covers, with outer soles of rubber/plastics. The shoe/boot covers measure approximately 20 inches in height. The uppers are taffeta polyester textile material. There are textile straps with plastic closures across the instep of the boots and snaps at the topline of style number 14 B1 2141 ES D DP. The footwear is designed to be worn in a clean room environment such as a laboratory or food service facility. You state the value for both styles is more than $12 per pair.
In your letter you suggest classification of the shoe/boot covers in 6404.19.9090, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for footwear with outer soles of rubber, plastics and uppers of textile materials, other. The "other" in this instance means "other than men or women." Unisex footwear is classified as footwear for women, therefore style numbers 14 B1 2141 ES D DP and 14 BI 2503 ES-D DP will be classified as such.
The applicable subheading for style numbers 14 B1 2141 ES D DP and 14 BI 2503 ES-D DP will be 6404.19.9060, HTSUS, which provides for footwear with outer soles of rubber/plastics, leather or composition leather and uppers of textile materials: footwear with outer sloes of rubber or plastics: other: other: valued over $12.00/pair: for women (unisex). The rate of duty will be 9 percent ad valorem.
The footwear is manufactured in the Dominican Republic from non-originating polyester taffeta fabric from China and straps, secondary fabric, findings, labels, ID tag, stainless steel sockets/prongs, elastic, ribbon, bag, sticker box and tape originate from El Salvador, Costa Rica, or 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 non-originating textile material sourced from China, classified in chapter 59 if imported separately, and manufactured into completed shoe covers in El Salvador together with the originating materials, undergoes the required tariff shift and meets the requirements under the DR-CAFTA General Notes 29(b)(ii)(A) and General Note 29 (n), Chapter 64, Chapter rule 1(2). Style numbers 14 B1 2141 ES D DP and 14 BI 2503 ES-D DP, qualify 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 email@example.com.
Steven A. Mack
National Commodity Specialist Division