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NY 896547

April 26, 1994

CLA-2-44:S:N:N8:230 896547


TARIFF NO.: 4412.11.5000

Mr. Frank M. Murphy
Carr Consulting Group
P.O. Box 398
Farmington, Michigan 48332-0398

RE: The tariff classification of plywood, laminated with plastic, from Canada.

Dear Mr. Murphy:

In your letter dated March 29, 1994, on behalf of your client, T.C.H. Sales Inc. (Scarborough, Ontario, Canada), you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The goods in question are identified as ABS plastic sheets, pre-laminated to 48" x 96" sheets of plywood. Following importation into the United States, these laminates will be used primarily in the manufacture of durable cases designed for the storage and transport of musical instruments, television or movie equipment, exhibits and the like.

A sample of the 1/4-inch-thick version was submitted and will be retained for reference. It consists of a plywood substrate, 5.2 mm in thickness, covered on one side with a layer of opaque black plastic, about 1 mm in thickness. The plywood itself has three layers and is made of Meranti. (The surface layers of this plywood are 0.9 mm and 0.8 mm, while the middle layer is 3.5 mm.) A 1/8- inch version of the product is said to be made from plywood of the same kind, but having an overall thickness of 2.7 mm before lamination with the plastic.

You believe that the plastic surface contributes strength, durability, aesthetic appeal and marketability to these products, thus imparting their essential character. With reference to General Rule of Interpretation 3(b), you therefore feel that the items should be classified as "other articles of plastics," in subheading 3926.90.9590, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).

We find, however, that these products are provided for in heading 4412, HTSUSA, which includes surface-covered plywood. Explanatory Note 44.12 states that the heading covers plywood, veneered panels and similar laminated wood, and that "panels of any of the above kinds may be covered with other materials such as base metal or plastics."

Accordingly, the applicable tariff provision for the above- described 1/4" or 1/8" wood/plastic laminates will be 4412.11.5000, 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 the following tropical woods: ... Meranti...other. The general rate of duty will be 8%.

Your inquiry does not provide enough information for us to give a classification ruling on the 3/8" or 1/2" laminates, which are said to be made from plywood obtained from different sources, and possibly composed (we presume) of other species of wood. In addition to samples of these items, your request should include thicknesses and species identification for all layers present.

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.


Jean F. Maguire

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