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HQ 086255

January 23, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 086255 MH


TARIFF NO.: 4418.90.40

Mr. Steve Sanders
Border Brokerage Co., Inc.
P.O. Box B
Blaine, Washington 98290

RE: Reconsideration of NYRL 844464 dated August 29, 1989; "Laminated Veneer Lumber"

Dear Mr. Sanders:

This is in reference to a ruling issued to you by the Area Director, New York Seaport, dated August 29, 1989 (our reference NY 844464), on the tariff classification of a product called laminated veneer lumber (LVL).


LVL consists of multiple laminations of veneers having their grains parallel. In the case of your merchandise, the veneers are each one-eighth inch thick. The merchandise is produced in thicknesses of 3/4 inch to 2-1/2 inches and in lengths of 8 to 60 feet. After importation, the merchandise may be cut to any length or width the customer desires.

In a ruling dated August 29, 1989 (our reference NY 844464), the Area Director, New York Seaport, stated that the applicable subheading for LVL is 4412.99.9020, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other veneered panels and similar laminated wood.


Whether LVL is classifiable as builders' carpentry of heading 4418 or as plywood, veneered panels and similar laminated wood of heading 4412.


In determining whether LVL is properly classifiable in heading 4412, our first resort is to the language of the heading. In this instance the terms plywood, veneered panels and similar laminated wood are specifically described in the Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System.

LVL is not plywood because the grains of the plies are parallel rather than at an angle as is the case with plywood. LVL is not a veneered panel because such panels are described in the Explanatory Notes as consisting of a thin veneer of wood affixed to a base, usually of inferior wood. LVL by contrast consists of multiple plies of wood used for structural purposes. Finally, LVL does not meet the description of nor is it akin to the various products enumerated in the Explanatory Notes as constituting similar laminated wood. Accordingly, classification under heading 4412 is precluded.

On the basis of the information provided, it is clear that LVL is a structural lumber product that is used in a variety of load bearing applications in the construction industry. It is a highly engineered product which is designed in many instances as a direct substitute for glue laminated timber. The Explanatory Notes to heading 4418 specifically provide that the term builders' carpentry includes glulam. In view of the similarity as to use between glulam and LVL and its use as a structural lumber product generally, we find that LVL is properly classifiable in heading 4418.

Accordingly, your merchandise is classifiable in subheading 4418.90.40 as builders' carpentry. The 9th and 10th digits of the subheading number, required to be supplied upon entry of the merchandise, will be determined by the condition of the merchandise at the time of entry. See the provision of subheading 4418.90.40, attached. Articles which meet the definition of "goods originating in the territory of Canada" (see General Note 3(c)(ii)(B), HTSUSA) are subject to reduced rates of duty under the United States-Canada Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act of 1988. If your merchandise meets these requirements and the requirements of the applicable regulations, the applicable rate of duty is 4 percent ad valorem. Otherwise, the general rate of 5.1 percent ad valorem shall apply. Pursuant to section 177.9, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 177), our previous ruling is hereby modified in conformity with the foregoing analysis.


Harvey B. Fox

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