CLA-2-64:RR:NC:TA:346 B86847

Eric Smithweiss
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz and Silverman
245 Park Avenue
33rd Floor
New York, NY 10167-3397

RE: The tariff classification of midsoles and footwear from Brazil

Dear Mr. Smithweiss:

In your letter for Nine West, dated June 23, 1997, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Regarding both the midsole to be imported separately and the one used as a component of the shoe, in your letter you claim that it should be regarded as an article of artificial (i.e., agglomerated) stone classifiable in heading 6810. However, your letter does not indicate that the calcium carbonate within it is derived from stone; you simply state that it is derived from a "mineral" source. Heading 6810 covers agglomerated stone, not all agglomerated minerals. In any case, we consider this component to be a plastics product with a mineral filler, not an article of agglomerated stone. Heading 6810 would not be applicable if this item were imported prior to its shaping into a footwear part.

In the alternative, you suggest that the component be regarded as an article of mineral substances in heading 6815. However, the essential character of this item is represented by plastics material, not the mineral filler. Heading 6815 would not be applicable if this item were imported prior to its shaping into a footwear part.

Therefore, the midsoles will be treated as being of plastics for the purposes of Chapter 64 since none of its notes or headings have any special instructions regarding this material.

The applicable subheading for the midsole will be 6406.99.30, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for, inter alia, parts of footwear, which are not uppers, parts of uppers, outer soles, or outer heels and which are of rubber and-or plastics. The rate of duty will be 5.3 percent. Articles classifiable under subheading 6406.99.30, HTS, which are products of Brazil will be entitled to duty free treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) upon compliance with all applicable regulations, if the GSP is renewed.

The applicable subheading for the shoe will be 6404.20.60, which provides for footwear, in which the upper's external surface is predominately textile materials; in which the outer sole's external surface is predominately leather or composition leather; and which is, by weight, over 50% as a total of textile materials, rubber and plastics and over 10% of rubber and-or plastics. (It is obvious that the weight tests come out as indicated once the midsole is not treated as being of artificial stone or of an other mineral substance, as you claim, but as of rubber and-or plastics.) The rate of duty will be 37.5 percent. You requested that we return your samples. They are being returned in a separate mailing.

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 classification of the midsole if it were imported prior to becoming a footwear part, contact NIS Jacob Bunin at 212-466-5796 and-or NIS Joan Mazzola at 212-466-5580. For any other questions regarding this ruling, contact National Import Specialist James Sheridan at 212-466-5889.


Paul K. Schwartz
Chief, Textiles & Apparel Branch
National Commodity
Specialist Division