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NY 806016

February 7, 1995

CLA-2-44:S:N:N8:230 806016


TARIFF NO.: 4418.90.4030

Mr. Abel Medina
Parker & Co.
P.O. Box 271
4694 Coffee Port Road
Brownsville, Texas 78521

RE: The tariff classification of wooden trusses assembled in Mexico.

Dear Mr. Medina:

In your letter dated January 5, 1995, on behalf of your client, Texas Truss, Inc. (Pinehurst, Texas), you requested a tariff classification ruling.

You describe the merchandise in question, and the proposed assembly operation, as follows:

Texas Truss, Inc. is interested in assembling trusses in Mexico for the construction industry in the U.S. They would export cut and dried lumber, mostly 2x4's, in various lengths up to 24 feet long. Also exported would be gang nail plates which would be of a variety of sizes.

The manufacturing process would consist of sawing the lumber to the correct length and angle. From there it would be moved to the assembly tables where the lumber is laid out to the correct shape, the gang nail plates are put into position at the joints and then a larger press is used to push the gang nail plates into the wood to secure the joint. The completed truss is then moved offthe table and stacked and secured for ship- ment.

The applicable subheading for the assembled, completed trusses will be 4418.90.4030, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for other (than certain enumerated) builders' joinery and carpentry of wood: other fabricated structural wood members. The general rate of duty will be 4.7%.

You also asked whether the partial duty exemption of subheading 9802.00.80 ("articles assembled abroad in whole or in part of fabricated components, the product of the United States...") would be applicable if the lumber and gang nail plates are, in fact, U.S. components. We are unable to answer this question without more detailed information on the nature and extent of the sawing and angling operation. "Before-and-after" photographs and/or diagrams would be most helpful in this regard. We would also want information breaking down the value of a finished truss, including the cost of the lumber going into Mexico and the costs of each step of the processing there.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 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.

We note that the 9802 issue may not really be relevant in the situation you outlined. That is, if the trusses are wholly obtained or produced entirely in the United States and Mexico, they may qualify for duty-free treatment (within subheading 4418.90.4030) under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), upon compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and agreements. Depending on your circumstances, you may want to pursue either the 9802 question or a NAFTA claim.


Jean F. Maguire

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