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NY A81561

April 16, 1996

CLA-2-44:RR:NC:GI:230 A81561


TARIFF NO.: 4412.29.5500

Mintec Corporation
1107 Kenilworth Drive
Towson, MD 21204

RE: The tariff classification of bamboo plank flooring from China.


In your letter dated March 22, 1996, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

A sample identified as "Plyboo" flooring was submitted and will be retained for reference. It is a section of a plank or board approximately 9 1/2" cm wide and 12 mm thick. It is made up of two layers of bamboo which have been laminated together; the top layer is about 5.5 mm thick, while the bottom layer is about 6.5 mm thick and has three shallow grooves running down its length. Each layer consists of flat, horizontally-oriented, edge-glued strips of bamboo. The grain of all the strips in the plank runs in the same direction. The plank is tongued and grooved along its edges, and has been coated on its top surface with a clear finishing material.

The product is said to be made specifically as a type of hardwood flooring usable in residential or commercial settings.

We note your belief that this merchandise should be classified in one of the subheadings of Chapter 46, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for manufactures of plaiting materials. We must point out, however, that although some articles of bamboo (e.g., those composed of thin, flexible strips) fall within Chapter 46, others do not. Plaiting materials must be in a state or form suitable for plaiting, interlacing or similar processes. Products like the instant flooring, made up of relatively thick, rigid pieces not exhibiting such suitability, cannot be considered plaited articles. Such products are instead classified as articles of wood, in Chapter 44, HTS, in accordance with Note 6 of that chapter.

The applicable subheading for the "Plyboo" flooring as described above will be 4412.29.5500, HTS, which provides for other veneered panels and similar laminated wood, with at least one outer ply of nonconiferous wood. The rate of duty will be 2.4%.

Your letter mentions that the flooring is available with several variations in construction (e.g., with vertically oriented strips) and thickness. This ruling does not apply to all the variations you mention, but only to the instant sample. You may wish to submit additional samples for our evaluation. If you choose to do so, please state the thickness of each bamboo layer in each sample.

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

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Paul Garretto, at (212) 466-5779.


Roger J. Silvestri

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