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ITC Begins Investigation of Tariff Schedule Modifications for Footwear with Textile Soles

May 5, 2010

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has announced recently that it will conduct an investigation relating to certain proposed modifications to HTS Chapter 64 for footwear with outer soles of rubber or plastic to which a layer of textile material has been added.  Federal Register notice of Tuesday, April 13, 2010 (Vol. 75, No 70, page 18882-18884).

The investigation, prompted by a request from the U.S. Treasury, requests that the ITC provide recommendations to the President that a new U.S. Note be included in Chapter 64.  The new note would cover footwear with outer soles of rubber and/or plastic that has a layer of textile added to the bottom. As drafted, the proposed note requested by Treasury would provide as follows: 

For purposes of determining the constituent material of the outer sole pursuant to Note 4(b) to this chapter, no account shall be taken of textile materials which do not possess the characteristics usually required for normal use of an outer sole, include durability and strength.

The net effect of adopting this Note would eliminate the significance of fabric outsoles for footwear for classification in Heading 6405. Treasury has also requested that there be a number of new provisions in 6204 and 6404 to cover footwear with an outsole to which a layer of textile material has been added, and which possess the characteristics usually required for normal use, including durability and strength.  The rates for footwear falling within the new note would match those currently in HTSUS heading 6405 (duty rates of 12.5% and 7.5%).

The notice issued by the ITC states that this investigation is not intended to include proposals that will change existing U.S. duty rates or amendments to ten digit statistical annotations or notes. We recommend, however, that companies review these proposed changes in relation to their imported footwear.

The International Trade Commission will take into account information provided by interested parties if determined to be appropriate.  The public record for this collection of proposals may be viewed on the Commission’s electronic docket (EDIS).

The upcoming deadlines relating to this investigation are as follows:

May 14, 2010:  Comments from the public are due on the proposed U.S. Note.

May 28, 2010:  The ITC will post a proposed recommendation after reviewing the public comments.

June 25, 2010:  Comments are due on the ITC’s final recommendations.

July 12, 2010:  Date by which the ITC plans to submit its recommendations to the President.

If you are interested in submitting comments or have any questions with regard to this notice and its possible effects on the classification of the company imported footwear, please contact Steve Spraitzar at steve.spraitzar@tuttlelaw.com or via telephone at (415) 288-0427 or George Tuttle at george.tuttle.sr@tuttlelaw.com or via telephone at (415) 288-0425.

 

Steve Spraitzar and George R. Tuttle are attorneys with the Law Offices of George R. Tuttle in San Francisco.

The information in this article is general in nature, and is not intended to constitute legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship with respect to any event or occurrence, and may not be considered as such.

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