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NY 879724

November 25, 1992

CLA-2-44:S:N:N1:230 879724


TARIFF NO.: 4412.12.5000

Mr. Leslie Alan Glick
Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur
1233 20th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036-2395

RE: Tariff classification of FRP plywood panels from Mexico

Dear Mr. Glick:

In your letter dated October 27, 1992, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of Crane Cor Tec Company.

The products in question are panels made with 3 to 7 veneer plies and of a thickness ranging from 3/8 to 3/4 inch. Each veneer ply does not exceed 6 mm in thickness. The panels measure 96 inches wide by 40 to 96 inches long. Both, the face ply and back ply are made of Douglas-fir.

The plywood panels have been covered on both outer surfaces with woven roving fiberglass reinforcement and a polyester resin. The panels are manufactured in various colors and either have isophthalie gel-coated or a DuPont Tedlar film exterior finish. The edges are coated by brush or roller with a white pigmented latex roof coating. Some panels may have a "Raised Molded Scuff" area. The raised area is an area filled with a higher level of fiberglass and resin and comes in sizes of 12 to 48 inches. The purpose of this area is to protect the panel from damage.

These panels will be manufactured by Cor Tec in Mexico under the brand name "Clad Tuff FRP". The panels are used for sidewalls, noses, doors and roofs of trucks and trailers. A sample was submitted.

You believe that the FRP plywood panels are classifiable under subheading 8708.29.0060, HTS, which provides for parts and accessories of the motor vehicles of headings 8701 to 8705, other parts and accessories of bodies (including cabs), other.

The Explanatory Notes (EN) to the HTS constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. The EN to heading 44.12 state:

This heading covers:

(1) Plywood consisting of three or more sheets of wood glued and pressed one on the other and generally disposed so that the grains of successive layers are at an angle; this gives the panels greater strength and, by compensating shrinkage, reduces warping. Each component sheet is known as a "ply" and plywood is usually formed of an odd number of plies, the middle ply being called the "core".

It further states as follows:

Panels of any of the above kinds may be covered with other materials such as base metal or plastics. In addition, the products of this heading may be worked to form the shapes provided for in heading 44.09, curved, corrugated, perforated, cut or formed to shapes other than square or rectangular or submitted to any other operation provided it does not give them the character of articles of other headings. (Emphasis added.)

In addition, the Chapter 44, Additional U.S. Note 1 (c) defines the term "surface covered" as follows:

The term "surface covered," as applied to the articles of headings 4411 and 4412, means that one or more exterior surfaces of a product have been treated with creosote or other wood preservative, or with fillers, sealers, waxes, oils, stains, varnishes, paints or enamels, or have been overlaid with paper, fabric, plastics, base metal or other material.

The FRP plywood panels in question have been surface covered; however, they have not been processed beyond the material stage so as to give the panels the character of articles of other headings.

The applicable subheading for the Clad Tuff FRP plywood panels will be 4412.12.5000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for plywood consisting solely of sheets of wood, each ply not exceeding 6 mm in thickness, with at least one outer ply of nonconiferous wood, other. The rate of duty will be 8 percent ad valorem.

Articles classifiable under subheading
4412.12.5000, HTSUSA, which are products of Mexico are entitled to duty free treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) upon compliance with all applicable regulations.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Jean F. Maguire

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