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US Customs proposes footwear test

Image © US Dept of Homeland Security

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has proposed a test method to determine the classification of certain items of footwear under the Harmonized Tariff Schedules of the United States (HTSUS).
According to Note 4(b) to Chapter 64 of the HTSUS, the constituent material of outer soles shall be taken to be material having the greatest surface area in contact with the ground, excluding accessories or reinforcements, such as spikes, bars, nails, protectors or similar attachments.

Note 5 states that ‘for purposes of determining the constituent material of the outer sole… no account shall be taken of the textile materials which do not possess the characteristics usually required for normal use of an outer sole, including durability and strength.’

The CBP has recommended a testing standard that relies on ISO 20871 to assess the characteristics of textile materials attached to the outer soles. An abrading machine is used in the test and ‘mass lost’ is calculated.

Any party seeking a Customs ruling on footwear is to include an independent laboratory test using the ISO 20871 standard. The CBP may also request samples of footwear in order to conduct its own independent testing.

Publishing Data

This article was originally published on page 3 of the May 2013 issue of SATRA Bulletin.

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