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US Customs Final Notice on Test Methods for Footwear Textile Material at Outer Sole
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published a final notice on 13 November 2013 in Customs Bulletin Vol. 47, No. 45 (1), in regards to the test method for classification of footwear with textile material on the outer sole.
ISO 20871 Test Method
Footwear is generally classified according to the material of both the upper and the outer sole. According to Note 4(b) in HTSUS Chapter 64, the constituent material of the outer sole shall be taken to be the material having the greatest surface area in contact with the ground.
The Additional U.S. Note 5 in HTSUS Chapter 64 specifies that if footwear is classified as having a textile outer sole, the textile material applied to or used on the outer sole must have “the characteristics usually required for normal use of an outer sole such as durability and strength”. CBP’s final notice recognized that ISO 20871 should be used in assessing the strength and durability of textile material attached to the outer sole and if that textile material is still on the outer sole at the end of the testing.
Abrasion Resistance of Footwear Outsoles
The applicable test method ISO 20871 (“Footwear – Test Methods for Outsoles – Abrasion Resistance”) is an abrasion resistance test method intended for all outer soles irrespective of material. The test procedure will apply only to textile material that has been added to, or incorporated into, a substrate of another material such as rubber or plastic. Testing will not be required where a textile material is the only constituent material of the outer sole. Three samples must be tested in accordance with the testing specification in ISO 20871. The requirement is that the textile material should be present on at least one of the three specimens after testing to the ISO 20871 method.
The notice also indicates that importers must present independent laboratory reports applying ISO 20871 testing, in response to a request for information via CBP Form 28, or attached to entry documentation, to demonstrate that the terms of Note 5 have been met. CBP reserves the right to conduct its own testing by applying ISO 20871 on footwear samples when circumstances warrant.
(1) US CBP Customs Bulletin http://www.cbp.gov/
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