United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1998 NY Rulings > NY D82305 - NY D82354 > NY D82335

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
NY D82335

October 5, 1998

CLA-2-44:RR:NC:SP:230 D82335


TARIFF NO.: 4421.90.9840; 1404.90.0000

Ms. Isabelle C. Fountaine
A.N. Deringer, Inc.
HC76 Main Street
Jackman, ME 04945

RE: The tariff classification of mulch, made of bark and wood, from Canada.

Dear Ms. Fountaine:

In your letter dated August 26, 1998, submitted on behalf of your client, B.A.S. Wood Products Inc. (St. Theophile, Quebec, Canada), you requested a tariff classification ruling on three types of mulch.

The first type, cedar mulch, is a mixture stated to have the following composition:

Cedar bark 50%
Cedar hearts, chips, slabs, edgings & cuttings 30% Shingletow (shavings) 15%
Sawdust 5%

The mulch is produced by putting the above materials through a knife grinder and then through a hammer grinder. The finished mulch is then bagged (or, in some cases, stockpiled for bulk shipments) for sale to landscapers and nurseries. Eventually, it is used as a decorative/aromatic ground cover intended to help retain soil moisture, control weeds, and repel insects around shrubs, flowers, etc.

For tariff purposes, the cedar mulch will be regarded as a composite article consisting of bark and wood. Since we find that neither the bark nor the wood clearly imparts the essential character of the overall product, we will resort to General Rule of Interpretation 3(c), Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which directs us to classify the merchandise in the heading which appears last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration. In this instance, the wood (Chapter 44) appears after the bark (Chapter 14).

The applicable subheading for the cedar mulch will be 4421.90.9840, HTS, which provides for other (non-enumerated) articles of wood. The general rate of duty will be 3.7%.

The second product, pine mulch, is made by grinding pine bark (in the same two ways as described above) and then mixing it with cedar mulch. The composition of the finished pine mulch is 80% pine bark and 20% cedar mulch.

The third product, hemlock mulch, is made by grinding hemlock bark and then mixing it with cedar mulch. The composition of the finished hemlock mulch is 80% hemlock bark and 20% cedar mulch.

The pine mulch and the hemlock mulch (both of which will be sold and used like the cedar mulch, as discussed above) will be considered composite goods whose essential character is imparted in each instance by the bark.

The applicable subheading for the pine mulch and for the hemlock mulch will be 1404.90.0000, HTS, which provides for other (than certain enumerated) vegetable products not elsewhere specified or included. The rate of duty will be free.

The products discussed in this ruling may be subject to regulations administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). For further information, you may contact that agency directly at the following location:

4700 River Road, Unit 136
Riverdale, MD 20737-1236

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.


Robert B. Swierupski

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: