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Ever since an intelligent business man designed footwear with a textile outer sole (i.e. textile bottom) that footwear was subject to duty rates approximately 25% – 35% lower than equivalent footwear with a rubber or plastic outer sole – what a way to utilize Tariff Engineering!

President Obama signed Presidential Proclamation 8742 that was published in the Federal Register on November 3, 2011. What the Proclamation did was add a U.S. Note 5 to the footwear Chapter in the tariff schedule (“Chapter 64”).

The new note, Note 5 states “For the purposes of determining the constituent material of the outer sole pursuant to note 4(b) of this chapter, no account shall be taken of textile materials that do not possess the characteristics usually required for normal use of an outer sole, including durability and strength.” Consequently, based on this note duty rates for certain footwear with the textile bottom may be affected.

What does “normal” mean?
How does an importer determine “durability and strength”?

As always it is in the importers best interest to consult an expert and/or have your goods tested during the production phase to evaluate the best model for the lowest duty rates.

Happy Importing 🙂

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