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HQ 954220

July 27, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 954220 KCC


TARIFF NO.: 9403.90.70

Mr. Robert B. Swierupski
Chief, National Import Specialist Branch 8 U.S. Customs Service
6 World Trade Center
Room 552X
New York, New York 10048

RE: Parts of kitchen cabinets; doors, drawer fronts and cabinet faceframes; Note 1(o), Chapter 44; 4418.90.4090; EN 44.18; builders' fittings for cupboards to be built into walls; parts of furniture; Note 2, Chapter 94; EN 94.03

Dear Mr. Swierupski:

This is in response to your memorandum of May 13, 1993 (CLA-2-94:S:N:N8:233-LWM), pertaining to the double difference on electronic Customs Form 6431 (entry number 744 41521833) concerning the tariff classification of parts of kitchen cabinets under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). The information associated with this entry was forwarded to this office for a response.


The merchandise under consideration consists of parts of kitchen cabinets such as, doors, drawer fronts and cabinet faceframes. The importer entered the merchandise under subheading 9403.40.9060, HTSUS, which provides for "Other furniture and parts thereof...Wooden furniture of a kind used in the kitchen...Other... Other...Cabinets designed for permanent installation."

Customs personnel in Champlain-Rouses Point are of the opinion that the merchandise under consideration is more properly classified under subheading 4418.90.4090, HTSUS, which provides for "Builders' joinery and carpentry of wood, including cellular wood panels and assembled parquet panels; shingles and shakes...Other...Other... Other." This opinion is based on the note found in the Harmonized Commodity and Description Coding System (HCDCS) Explanatory Note (EN) 94.03 which states that "Builders' fittings (e.g., frames, doors and shelves) for cupboards, etc. to be built into walls (heading 44.18 if of wood)" are excluded from classification under heading 9403, HTSUS.

The National Import Specialist (NIS) in New York believes that the merchandise in question is properly classified under subheading 9403.90.7000, HTSUS, which provides for "...Parts...Other...Of wood." The NIS maintains that EN 94.03 note is only for cabinets built into the walls, as part of the structure of the wall.


Are the parts for kitchen cabinets classified as builders' joinery and carpentry of wood under subheading 4418.90.4090, HTSUS, or as parts of furniture under subheading 9403.90.7000, HTSUS?


The classification of merchandise under the HTSUS is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1, HTSUS, states, in part, "that for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes...."

Note 1(o), Chapter 44, HTSUS, excludes "[a]rticles of Chapter 94 (for example, furniture, lamps and lighting fittings, prefabricated buildings)" from being classified in Chapter 44, HTSUS. EN 44.18 (pgs. 636-637) states:

This heading applies to woodwork, including that of wood marquetry or inlaid wood, used in the construction of any kind of building, etc., in the form of assembled goods or as recognisable unassembled pieces (e.g., prepared with tenons, mortises, dovetails or other similar joints for assembly), whether or not with their metal fittings such as hinges, locks, etc.

Additionally, EN 44.18 states that heading 4418, HTSUS, does not cover "[c]upboards with or without backs, even if designed to be nailed or otherwise secured to the ceiling or wall (heading 94.03)." The ENS, although not dispositive, are to be looked to for the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989). Based on the chapter notes and explanatory notes, furniture of Chapter 94, HTSUS, including cupboards designed to be secured to ceiling and wall, are specifically excluded from classification under heading 4418, HTSUS.

Moreover, Note 2, Chapter 94, HTSUS, states that:

The articles (other than parts) referred to in headings Nos. 94.01 to 94.03 are to be classified in those headings only if they are designed for placing on the floor or ground.

The following are, however, to be classified in the above-mentioned headings even if they are designed to be hung, to be fixed to the wall or to stand one on the other:

(a) Cupboards, bookcases, other shelved furniture and unit furniture....

EN 94.03 (pgs. 1578-1579) states that heading 94.03, HTSUS, "covers furniture and parts thereof, not covered by the previous headings. It includes furniture for general use (e.g., cupboards, show-cases, table, telephone stands, writing-desks, escritoires, book-cases, and other shelved furniture, etc.), and also furniture for special uses. EN 94.03 excludes "[b]uilders' fittings (e.g., frames, doors and shelves) for cupboards, etc. to be built into walls (heading 44.18 if of wood)."

Based on the chapter and explanatory notes, we are of the opinion that the parts of kitchen cabinets under consideration are classified under subheading 9403.90.7000, HTSUS, as parts of furniture. EN 94.03 does not exclude parts of kitchen cabinets from classification in heading 9403, HTSUS. EN 94.03 excludes fittings for cupboards that are actually built into the structure of a wall. This note does not exclude cupboards or cabinets which are separate articles secured to the building's structure. Separate articles, such as kitchen cabinets, do not have to be free standing articles to be classifiable under heading 9403, HTSUS.


The parts for kitchen cabinets are properly classified under subheading 9403.90.7000, HTSUS, as parts of furniture.


John Durant, Director Commercial Rulings Division

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