United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1994 HQ Rulings > HQ 0000608 - HQ 0088731 > HQ 0086256

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 086256

January 23, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 086256 MH


TARIFF NO.: 4418.90.40

Mr. Keith Erickson
T.J. International
380 East Park Center Boulevard
Boise, Idaho 83706

RE: Tariff Classification of Laminated Veneer Lumber

Dear Mr. Erickson:

This is in reference to a letter dated October 23, 1989, in which you request a ruling on the classification of a product known as 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.


You argue that the previous ruling is incorrect and that LVL is properly classifiable in heading 4418 as builders' carpentry. You believe that the use of LVL as a structural lumber product qualifies it for classification in heading 4418. Moreover, you argue that LVL does not meet the terms of heading 4412.

Upon review of the information which you have provided, we agree that LVL is not classifiable in heading 4412 because it does not meet the description of plywood, veneered panels or of similar laminated wood. Each of these terms is described specifically 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 you have 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.


The merchandise is classifiable in subheading 4418.90.40 as builders' carpentry, dutiable at the rate of 5.1 percent ad valorem. 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.

Pursuant to section 177.9, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 177), we have reviewed our previous ruling and found it not to reflect the current views of the Customs Service. Our previous ruling will be modified in conformity with the foregoing analysis.


Harvey B. Fox

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: