The following is a brief description of classification decisions recently published by CBP.

NY N309110 (February 18, 2020) addresses the classification of a woman's sandal. The upper is R/P decorated with metal pyramids attached by a single rivet. The outsole is R/P with a textile overlay.

Although the importer proposes classification in subheading 6404.99.41, CBP finds classification is 6402.99.31 (6%)(4B). CBP found that the despite the metal pyramids the upper was 90 percent R/P because the metal pyramids are considered loosely attached appurtenances.

The ruling also points out that the sandals are eligible for reduced duty treatment under MTB, subheading 9902.14.06 (5.5%).
The classification of a man's leather boot with a "Goodyear welt" construction is the subject of NY N309518 (February 20, 2020) . The boot is classified in subheading 6403.91.30 (5%)(4A).

Additional US note 1 Chapter 64, defines the term "welt footwear" for purposes of classification. While it may be that a true Goodyear welt satisfies this definition, keep in mind that not everything described as such does.

NY N309530 (February 24, 2020) classifies a man's closed toe/heel, slip-on, casual shoe. The upper is textile. Although a textile strap wraps around the upper, it is considered non-functional because it does not have to be opened or closed to get the footwear on or off. The footwear has a foxing-like band and the sole is R/P.

Classification falls in subheading 6404.19.90 (9%)(4A). This is one of those cases where the presence of a foxing or foxing-like band is advantageous. Otherwise, the shoe falls in subheading 6404.19. 39 (37.5%)(4A).
NY N309030 (February 24, 2020) addresses the origin marking of unformed uppers. CBP rules that the uppers need not be marked with their country of origin since the uppers are substantially transformed after importation into the United States.

The ruling request also asks whether the finished footwear could be marked either "Assembled in USA from Imported Parts" or "Assembled in USA". CBP did not respond to that request instead referred the importer to the Federal Trade Commission. We believe that either of the markings referred to above are be acceptable to the FTC
HQ H307697 (February 25, 2020) addresses the value of assists consisting of components acquired from both domestic and foreign sources. The components are provided to foreign manufacturers at no cost and obviously constitute an assist, regardless of origin.

The importer proposed valuing the assist based on a moving average inventory methodology. Essentially, a moving average for each separate component is calculated based upon the quantity purchased from all sources. The average cost of each component is recalculated after each inventory purchase. The calculation is the total cost of the components purchased divided by the number of components in stock. 

CBP accepted this methodology. A prerequisite for allowing use of this methodology rather than the actual cost of each foreign-source component is a showing that inventory is commingled, and it is not be possible to identify the specific cost of a particular component
First, the Headquarters has confirmed that it will not revisit the treatment of leather flocking as leather for purposes of classification in Chapter 64.

Second, CBP Headquarters has not completed its review of the comments relating to the classification of footwear with extensive embroidery as athletic.

Third, CBP has announced that the NIS Division is accepting binding ruling requests. However, you should expect delays if the ruling is submitted on paper or if a sample is necessary. CBP encourages importers to submit rulings electronically and to provide a picture of the article in question as part of the request.

A template for submitting rulings electronically as available on CBP's website, .

CBP also requests that responses to 28’s, etc., also be filed electronically.
There was one recall of a footwear article in March. Children’s winter boots were recalled. The boots’ sole contains levels of lead that exceed the federal lead content ban. Lead is toxic if ingested by young children and can cause adverse health issues. More info regarding the recall can be found here.
The Customs Report is a newsletter of customs legal, administrative and other developments affecting importers of footwear prepared as a service for FDRA members and other interested parties. Matters reported on or summarized herein may not be construed as legal advice on specific situations .

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