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Importing Boots Into the U.S.

If you are importing boots into the United States, you should be aware of these guidelines for proper HTS classification.

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There are several things you should know before you try to import boots into the U.S.

The key to importing boots is proper classification according to their Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HS) codes. The HS Code for a product determines its duty rate, applicable free trade agreements, regulations, and more.

Classification of footwear depends on two factors:

  • The component material comprising the greatest external surface area of the upper part of the shoe, and
  • The material of the external surface area of the outer sole.

Once you have this information you can begin go through Chapter 64 of the HS code database to determine which exact 10-digit code your boots fall under.

In addition to general and special duties, there are two fees that apply to all shipments entering US domestic ports: the Harbor Maintenance Fee (HMF) and Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF).

It's also important to establish the legality of the material(s) the boots are made of. Under the Federal Endangered Species Act, the selling of the hide, dead body, or product thereof, of protected animals is illegal. Additionally, some individual states have their own laws about which kinds of animal products they allow to be imported. If your boots are made of leather or something similar, you’re generally in the clear. However, if the material is more exotic (like snakeskin or alligator), make sure to check the origin of the material to ensure no protected animals were harmed during its manufacture.

For more information on importing boots, check out Customs’ publication on footwear.

http://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/documents/icp022_3.pdf

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