CLA-2-64:OT:RR:NC:N2:247

Ms. Jessy Huang
ISA-TRAESKO GmbH
Oderstrasse 9
24539 Neumnster
Germany

RE: The tariff classification of footwear from China

Dear Ms. Huang:

In your electronic submission dated April 1, 2021, you requested a tariff classification ruling on five styles of footwear. You have submitted photographs, a ruling request letter, samples of five styles, and copies of laboratory reports. Additional clarification was provided via email. The samples will not be returned as requested.

Style 96835 Ladies Tall Rain Boots/Navy-Beige Plaid is a woman's, closed toe/closed heel, above-the-ankle, below-the-knee boot. The waterproof rubber/plastic boot measures approximately 14.25 inches tall from the bottom of the outer sole to the topline. You state the boot will be imported with a removable textile liner. The top of the liner has attractive textile knit that is meant to be worn cuffed over the boot's topline. Including the cuff, the external surface area (esau) is approximately 69 percent rubber/plastics materials and 31 percent textile. The rubber/plastics outer sole has a very thin application of flocked leather fibers. The boot is considered "protective" against water. You provided an F.O.B. value of $9.30 per pair.

You suggested classification 6405.90.9060, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for other footwear: other: other: other. We disagree. The molded rubber/plastics outer sole has some flocked leather fibers attached to the area in contact with the ground. The flocking was examined with magnification and found to have a very thin application of fibers that did not obscure the material underneath. The microns-thin application should be treated as a "similar attachment" described in Note 4(a) to Chapter 64 of the HTSUS and disregarded for tariff purposes pursuant to Note 4(b) to Chapter 64, HTSUS, and General Explanatory Note (C) to Chapter 64, HTSUS.

The applicable subheading for the women's style 96835 Ladies Tall Rain Boots/Navy-Beige Plaid will be 6401.92.9060, HTSUS, which provides for waterproof footwear with outer soles and uppers of rubber or plastics, the uppers of which are neither fixed to the sole nor assembled by stitching, riveting, nailing, screwing, plugging or similar processes: other footwear: covering the ankle but not covering the knee: other: other: other. The rate of duty will be 37.5 percent ad valorem.

Pursuant to U.S. Note 20 to Subchapter III, Chapter 99, HTSUS, products of China classified under subheading 6401.92.9060, HTSUS, unless specifically excluded, are subject to an additional 7.5 percent ad valorem rate of duty. At the time of importation, you must report the Chapter 99 subheading, i.e., 9903.88.15, in addition to subheading 6401.92.9060, HTSUS, listed above.

The HTSUS is subject to periodic amendment, so you should exercise reasonable care in monitoring the status of goods covered by the Note cited above and the applicable Chapter 99 subheading. For background information regarding the trade remedy initiated pursuant to Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, including information on exclusions and their effective dates, you may refer to the relevant parts of the USTR and CBP websites, which are available at https://ustr.gov/issue-areas/enforcement/section-301-investigations/tariff-actions and https://www.cbp.gov/trade/remedies/301-certain-products-china respectively.

Styles 97004 Ladies Bootie Slippers/AOP and 97005 Ladies Bootie Slippers/ Navy Chenile are women's, closed toe/closed heel, above-the-ankle, below the knee slippers. The upper is sewn to rubber/plastic outer soles. The uppers of both styles are comprised of 100 percent non-vegetable textile materials. The outer soles of both styles have non-durable textile material incorporated into the rubber/plastics that meets the ground. Rubber/plastics overlaps the upper by at least of an inch, and substantially encircles the perimeter of the slipper, constituting a foxing-like-band. The F.O.B. value for each style is $4.15 per pair.

You suggested classification under subheading 6404.19.7760, 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 $3 but not over $6.50/pair: other: with uppers of textile material other than vegetable fibers and having outer soles with textile materials having the greatest surface area in contact with the ground, but not taken into account under the terms of additional U.S. note 5 to this chapter: other: for women. We agree to the eighth digit only. The slippers meet the definition of "house slippers" as described in chapter 64, statistical note 1(d) of the HTSUS and will be classified as such.

The applicable subheading for styles 97004 Ladies Bootie Slippers/AOP and 97005 Ladies Bootie Slippers/Navy Chenile will be 6404.19.7715, 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 $3 but not over $6.50/pair: other: footwear with uppers of textile material other than vegetable fibers and having outer soles with textile materials having the greatest surface area in contact with the ground, but not taken into account under the terms of additional note U.S. note 5 to this chapter: house slippers. The rate of duty will be 12.5 percent ad valorem.

Style 97002 Ladies Memory Foam Walking Shoe/Bungee is a woman's, closed toe/closed heel, slip-on shoe. The shoe does not cover the ankle and has faux laces. The upper consists predominantly of a sock-like, non-vegetable, knit textile material. The rubber/plastics outer sole has non-durable textile fibers covering over 78.26 percent of the external surface that is in contact with the ground. The outer sole overlaps the upper by the requisite of an inch, thereby constituting a foxing-like band. The F.O.B. value is $6.23 per pair.

Style 97003 Ladies Memory Foam Walking Shoe/Black is a woman's closed toe/closed heel, below-the-ankle shoe. The uppers consist predominantly of non-vegetable knit textile material. It has a padded collar and a functional lace closure over a separately attached tongue. The shoe has a cushioned insole and a flexible, lightweight, rubber/plastics outer sole. The rubber/plastics outer sole has non-durable textile fibers covering over 79 percent of the external surface area of the outer sole. The F.O.B. value provided is $6.23 per pair.

The applicable subheading for the women's style 97002, Ladies Memory Foam Walking Shoe/ Bungee and style 97003 Ladies Memory Foam Walking Shoe/ Black will be 6404.19.7760, 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 $3 but not over $6.50/pair: other: with uppers of textile material other than vegetable fibers and having outer soles with textile materials having the greatest surface area in contact with the ground, but not taken into account under the terms of additional U.S. note 5 to this chapter: other: for women. The rate of duty will be 12.5 percent ad valorem.

Please note the submitted samples do not meet the country of origin marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304. Accordingly, the footwear would be considered not legally marked under the provisions of 19 C.F.R. 134.11 which states, "every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the U.S. shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly, and permanently as the nature of the article (or container) will permit, in such manner as to indicate to the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. the English name of the country of origin of the article."

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 stacey.kalkines@cbp.dhs.gov.

Sincerely,

Steven A. Mack
Director
National Commodity Specialist Division