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NY E84892

September 28, 1999

CLA-2-44:RR:NC:2:230 E84892


TARIFF NO.: 4403.20.0030

Mr. Ken Kalesnikoff
Kalesnikoff Lumber Co. Ltd.
P.O. Box 3000, Hwy 3A
Thrums, BC
V1N 3L8 Canada

RE: The tariff classification of roughly squared white pine veneer logs from Canada

Dear Mr. Kalesnikoff:

In your letter dated June 29, 1999 you submitted additional information regarding a product for which you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The product to be classified is referred to by you as white pine veneer slicing “cants”. In the trade this term is loosely used to refer to a log roughly squared on one or more sides, or a large slab cut from a log. For clarification of the product you wish to import, it is understood that your product is not imported in the form of slabs, but rather, it is a whole log roughly squared.

The processing steps that your company performs were illustrated in your first letter. Your company saws the logs one quarter turn at a time removing the bark and most of the dead knots. You state that this processing may leave the finished product with or without wane on its corners depending on the age of the log and condition of the knots.

Four photographs of the end and side view of logs loaded on a truck for a typical shipment were submitted by you. The side view photographs show that all the logs have bark or wane on at least one corner. The end view photograph shows that the shipment consists of whole logs that have been roughly squared. The shipment does not consist of parts of logs or slabs.

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

Heading 4403, HTSUS, provides for:

Wood in the rough, whether or not stripped of bark or sapwood, or roughly squared.

The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (EN) provide a commentary on the scope of each heading. The ENs, although not dispositive or legally binding, may be consulted when determining the classification of a product under particular heading (T.D. 89-90, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, August 23, 1989).

The EN to heading 4403, HTSUS, state in pertinent part:

This heading includes timber in the natural state as felled, usually with the branches lopped off, and such timber stripped of its outer and inner bark or from which merely the rough protuberances have been removed. It also includes wood from which the waste outer layers, consisting of the most recent growths (sapwood), have been removed for economy in transport or to prevent decay.

This heading also includes roughly squared wood which consists of trunks or sections of trunks of trees, the round surfaces of which have been reduced to flat surfaces by means of axe or adze, or by coarse sawing, to form wood roughly rectangular (including square) cross-section; roughly squared wood is characterized by the presence of rough areas or bark traces.

Based on the EN description, heading 4403, HTSUS, provides essentially for whole logs. Roughly squared logs reflect the condition of the original tree trunk by the presence of wane and bark. If a shipment consists almost wholly of roughly squared logs having wane and bark, it may be classified in heading 4403, HTSUS. If a shipment consists primarily of squared timbers with no bark or wane remaining, it would have the character of sawn wood, classifiable in heading 4407, HTSUS.

The photographs submitted show roughly squared whole logs having some bark and wane on the corners. The applicable subheading for the shipment represented by the photographs will be 4403.20.0030, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for wood in the rough, whether or not stripped of bark or sapwood, or roughly squared; other coniferous; logs and timber; other pine. The rate of duty will be Free.

In the event it is determined that the imported goods are not being produced 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 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 212-637-7009.


Robert B. Swierupski

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