Step by Step: Customs Classification of Footwear (Chapter 64)

Lilla Zsitnyanszky

October 24, 2023

German Version

Welcome to our latest blog post, where we delve into a fascinating topic: the classification of shoes. Let's explore the complex world of customs tariffs and learn how shoes are classified based on their type, material, and intended use.

Definition of Shoes in the Customs Tariff

Shoes range from open sandals with laces to high boots that cover the legs and sometimes have straps or bands for fastening. Disposable items intended to cover feet or shoes are not considered "shoes" in this context. These items are made of lightweight materials such as paper or plastic films, have no attached soles, and are classified based on their material.

With a few exceptions, various types of shoes, including overshoes, fall under Chapter 64 in positions 6401 to 6405, regardless of their shape, size, intended use, manufacturing method, or material composition.

This includes:
  • Low-heeled or high-heeled shoes.

  • Lace-up boots, pull-on boots, ankle boots, mid-calf boots, knee-high boots, and thigh-high boots.

  • Sandals, espadrilles, tennis shoes, running shoes, swim shoes, and other leisure shoes.

  • Specialised sports shoes, either equipped with spikes, cleats, clamps, studs, or similar devices or prepared for their attachment, as well as shoes for ice skates or roller skates, ski boots, cross-country ski boots, snowboard boots, wrestling shoes, boxing boots, or cycling shoes.

  • Ballet shoes.

  • Slippers.

  • Shoes made in one piece, especially those made by casting from rubber or plastic or by carving from a wooden block.

  • Shoes specially designed for protection against water, oil, grease, chemicals, or cold.

  • Overshoes worn over shoes and sometimes having no heels.

  • Disposable shoes with attached soles, generally intended for single use.

Exceptions include: Used shoes (Chapter 63), asbestos shoes (Position 6812), orthopedic shoes (Position 9021), shoes having the character of toys, and shoes with fixed roller or ice skates (Chapter 95).

Criteria for Classification in Chapter 64
Upper Material of Shoes (Note 4.a) to Chapter 64)

The upper material refers to the main material that makes up the majority of the outer surface, regardless of additions or reinforcements such as edging, ankle guards, decorations, buckles, straps, eyelets, or similar elements.

Shoe Soles (Outer Soles) (Note 4.b) to Chapter 64)

The sole material refers to the main material that makes up the majority of the bottom contact area, regardless of additions or reinforcements such as spikes, studs, nails, sole protectors, or similar devices.


Shoes can be made from any material, except for those specified in Note 1 to Chapter 64.

Shoe Parts (Position 6406)

These parts are considered components of footwear and can be made from any material except asbestos. Their shape may vary depending on the type of shoes they are intended for. These include:

  • Toe caps, heel counters, toe puffs, side parts, shafts, linings, and instep straps, all of which are parts of the upper.

  • Inner heel and toe counters.

  • Insoles, midsoles, and outsoles.

  • Shoe joints and shoe joint parts.

  • Various types of heels, for example, top lifts.

  • Spikes, cleats, etc., for sports shoes.

  • Sets of parts.

When classifying shoe parts, Note 2 to Chapter 64 should be considered, which defines products that cannot be classified as parts under position 6406, such as pins, eyelets, hooks.

traide Support

There is a wealth of information and legal provisions to consider when it comes to classification. If the classification is incorrect, everything is incorrect: customs duties, export declarations, preferential treatment, export control provisions, excise taxes, sales taxes, and so on.

Why Choose traide AI?

At traide, we are dedicated to the customs tariff number. Our goal with traide is to offer an intelligent software package that achieves and maintains the completeness, currency, and integrity of an entire company's product master data (sometimes millions of products) according to customs tariff requirements over time. In addition, we address the issues that arise before the actual classification process and significantly influence it. This includes, in particular, the quality of the product description, which often provides inadequate information or presents this information in an unstructured and distributed manner (e.g., in HTML format on a webshop or in product data sheets).

At its core, traide software functions as an intelligent digital customs tariff expert. It helps to quickly find the correct customs tariff number, acting as a "Tariff Assistant." It also automatically checks already classified product inventories for formal and substantive accuracy and provides feedback to the user in case of errors. The result is significantly increased throughput and a lower error rate for classified products. This frees up staff resources, creates room for scaling, and enhances security.

Do you have any questions about this? Feel free to write to us! We are happy to assist you.


Driving efficiency and compliance in global trade

Sign up for our newsletter:

Driving efficiency and compliance in global trade

Sign up for our newsletter:

Driving efficiency and compliance in global trade

Sign up for our newsletter: