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HQ 088294

February 7, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 088294 KWM


TARIFF NO.: 4418.90.4090; 9905.44.10

Mr. Roger E. Holmstrom
Arthur J. Humphreys Division
Border Brokerage Co., Inc.
P.O. Box 249
Sumas, Washington 98295

RE: Finger jointed pine jamb sets; Door jamb; Finger jointed wood; Builders' joinery and carpentry of wood; Finger- jointed builders' joinery; United States-Canada Free Trade Agreement.

Dear Mr. Holmstrom:

This is in regard to your correspondence dated September 28, 1991, requesting tariff classification for merchandise described as "finger jointed pine jamb sets." Your letter and a sample of the merchandise were forwarded to this office for a response.


The merchandise is described as "finger jointed pine jamb sets." It is a door jamb material composed of two pieces: A wide frame molding or "pine substrate" and the door stop. Both the substrate and the stop are made of U.S. origin finger-jointed lumber. In conversations with representatives of Framer Valley Forest, Inc., it was determined that the lumber used here is not pressure treated. In Canada, the stop is stapled to the molding from the back to form the jamb material. The jamb material is then cut to length and assembled into jamb sets, consisting of two sides and a top.


(1) How are the goods classified under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated?

(2) Are the goods eligible for duty-free treatment under the United States- Canada Free Trade Agreement?


Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of
the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). The systematic detail of the harmonized system is such that virtually all goods are classified by application of GRI 1, that is, according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relevant Section or Chapter Notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's may be applied, taken in order.

Classification of Door Jamb Sets

Heading 4418, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, Builders' joinery and carpentry of wood. The Explanatory Notes indicate that "joinery" includes:

. . . builders' fittings (such as doors, windows, shutters, stairs, door or window frames), whereas the term "carpentry" refers to woodwork (such as beams, rafters, and roof struts) used for structural purposes . . .

The instant merchandise is used as part of a door frame. It is classified as builders' joinery of wood of heading 4418, HTSUSA. Specifically, the door jambs will fall under subheading 4418.90, HTSUSA, which provides for "other" items of builders' joinery:

4418.90 Other:
4418.90.20 Edge-glued lumber
4418.90.40 Other;

. . .

4418.90.4030 Other fabricated structural wood members..........

. . .


The Explanatory Note above describes items used "for structural purposes" as beams, rafters and roof struts. The wood materials present in the sample are not sturdy enough to constitute a structural door frame. In this case, the door jamb sets are attached to a completed, load-bearing (or "structural") door frame already in place. They are more similar to doors or windows, described as fittings or trim. Therefore, we classify the door jamb sets under subheading 4418.90.4090, HTSUSA, as other articles of builders' joinery.

Duty Free Treatment

Heading 9905, HTSUSA, extends duty free treatment to certain goods under the terms of the United States-Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Subheading 9905.44.10, HTSUSA, includes goods described as:

Pressure treated lumber, finger-jointed builders' joinery, and edge glued lumber (provided for in
subheading 4418.90.40).

The language of heading 9905.44.10, HTSUSA, does not mimic the terms of heading 4418.90.40, HTSUSA, to which it refers. However, Customs has determined that this heading includes builders' joinery made of either pressure treated lumber or of edge-glued lumber, and may included joinery which is finger jointed. (See, Headquarters Ruling Letter 087616). The merchandise here is finger-jointed builders' joinery, but it is not pressure treated or edge glued. Therefore, it is not encompassed by the terms of heading 9905.44.10, HTSUSA.


The finger-jointed pine door jambs at issue here, consisting of two pieces of finger-jointed lumber assembled into an article of builders' joinery, is classified in subheading 4418.90.4090, HTSUSA. The applicable rate of duty is 5.1 percent ad valorem.


John A. Durant
Commercial Rulings Division

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