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July 16, 1999

CLA-2-44:RR:NC:2:230 D83315


TARIFF NO.: 4415.20.8000; 4407.10.0015

Mr. Georges Lafleur
Gerard Crete & Fils Inc.
979, rue de Bourgogne, bureau 420
Sainte-Foy (Quebec) Canada
G1W 2L4

RE: The tariff classification of unassembled pallets and extra pieces of sawn deckboards from Canada

Dear Mr. Lafleur:

In your letter dated September 18, 1998 you requested a tariff classification ruling. We regret the delay in issuing a ruling. The delay resulted from a review of the classification of lumber products by the U.S. Customs Service.

The ruling was requested on knocked down pallet assemblies. All the pieces necessary to make a specific number of pallets will be imported in the same shipment. The pieces consist of S-P-F wood cut to specific sizes. No further work will be done to the pieces. Assembly is the only process that remains to be done in the United States.

One pallet assembly to be imported is a 55"x65" pallet consisting of 5 top deckboards (each 1"x4"x65"), 3 notched stringers (each 2"x4"x55") and 3 bottom deckboards (each 1"x4"x65"). Another pallet assembly is a 60"x65" pallet consisting of 5 top deckboards (each 1"x4"x65"), 3 stringers (each 2"x4"x60", not notched) and 5 bottom deckboards (each 1"x4"x65"). A third pallet assembly is a 48"x65" pallet consisting of 5 top deckboards (each 1"x4"x65"), 3 stringers (each 2"x4"x48", not notched) and 5 bottom deckboards (each 1"x4"x65").

A shipment of these pallets will have the exact number of pieces necessary to make a specific number of pallets. The pieces will be packaged together according to the same size (thickness, width and length).

As an additional question, you inquired about supplying extra replacement pieces for any that break during shipment or assembly. You asked if the extra pieces could be imported under the same tariff classification as the unassembled pallets.

Classification of goods under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI’s). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be first determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

Heading 4415, HTSUS, provides for:

Packing cases, boxes, crates, drums and similar packings, of wood; pallets, box-pallets and other load boards, of wood; pallet collars of wood.

GRI 2(a) provides that any reference in a heading to an article shall be taken to include that article when entered unassembled or disassembled.

The Explanatory Notes for heading 4415 provide a commentary on unassembled containers of this heading, as follows:

They may be unassembled or partly assembled, provided the wood is in sets of the parts necessary to make a complete container or an incomplete container having the essential character of a complete container. When wood is not in such sets, it is to be classified as sawn or planed wood, plywood, etc., as the case may be.

Unassembled pallets imported in exact numbers of pieces required to make a specific number of pallets are classifiable in heading 4415. Any extra pieces, however, are classifiable separately under their applicable headings.

The applicable tariff provision for the unassembled 55"x65", 60"x65" and 48"x65" pallets described above will be 4415.20.8000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for pallets, box-pallets and other load boards, of wood. The general rate of duty will be 10.7 percent ad valorem.

The applicable tariff provision for extra pieces of 1"x4"x65" deckboards, 2"x4"x60" unnotched stringers and 2"x4"x48" unnotched stringers will be 4407.10.0015, HTSUSA, which provides for wood sawn or chipped lengthwise, sliced or peeled, whether or not planed, sanded or finger-jointed, of a thickness exceeding 6 mm; coniferous; not treated; mixtures of spruce, pine and fir (“S-P-F”). The general rate of duty will be free.

Articles classifiable under subheading 4407.10.0015, HTSUSA, which are products of Canada are subject to entry requirements based on the U.S./Canadian Softwood Lumber Agreement of 1996. All invoices of such articles must be annotated with the Canadian province of manufacture. If manufactured in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia or Alberta, a permit is required.

The U.S. Customs Service is still in the process of reviewing the classification of other notched lumber. Therefore, a classification cannot be given at this time for the extra notched stringers.

In the event it is determined that the imported goods are not being manufactured exactly as described in this ruling, the ruling will not be applicable to those goods. You should also be aware that the facts described in the foregoing ruling may be subject to periodic verification by the Customs Service.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 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 212-637-7009.


Robert B. Swierupski

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