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NY E88007

October 19, 1999

CLA-2-44:RR:NC:SP:230 E88007


TARIFF NO.: 4407.10.00

Mr. Richard A. Rocco
Livingston International, Inc.
27215 Northline Road
Taylor, MI 48180

RE: The tariff classification of sawn wood boards used in packaging, from Canada.

Dear Mr. Rocco:

In your letter dated September 20, 1999, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client, Industries P.F. Inc. (St-Martin, Beauce, PQ, Canada). Photographs and diagrams were submitted for our review.

The items in question are dressed, solid softwood boards having a uniform rectangular cross section (some 11/16” x 2¾”, others 11/16” x 3½”). They will have square-cut edges and ends, and will be imported in lengths of 28 11/16”, 26 7/8” and/or 29 15/16”.

You indicate that following importation into the United States, groups of four of the above-described boards will be arranged and nailed together into simple, square, frame-like assemblies intended to serve as “packaging components” for large appliances. We presume that one of these assemblies might be used, for example, in the bottom of a corrugated paperboard box holding a new refrigerator.

You state that the boards will be imported in large bundles containing the proper quantity/combination of pieces to make a given number of assemblies. You assert that the prospective importations should be regarded as “unassembled pallets,” and should therefore be classified as such in heading 4415 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS).

Heading 4415, HTS, provides, in pertinent part, for pallets of wood. The Explanatory Notes (EN’s) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, while not dispositive, represent the official interpretation of the Harmonized Tariff System at the international level. The EN for heading 4415 defines a pallet as a “load board consisting of two decks separated by bearers or a single deck supported by feet and designed essentially for handling by means of fork-lift trucks or pallet trucks.” We find that the instant articles, either in their condition as imported or after their contemplated assembly into “packaging components,” do not belong to a class or kind of goods answering to the above definition. While the imported items may be intended for the purpose you describe, in their imported condition they are merely plain pieces of sawn wood having no particular characteristics distinguishing them from general-purpose lumber. We also note that, unlike pallets, the frame-like articles to be assembled in the U.S. from these boards are merely packing materials of a kind normally discarded after the refrigerator or other appliance is removed from its box.

The applicable subheading for the imported boards will be 4407.10.00, HTS, 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. The rate of duty will be free.

Articles classifiable in subheading 4407.10.00, HTS, 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.

In the event that the subject goods, when imported into the United States, do not meet the description and the facts set forth in this ruling, the subject ruling letter will not be applicable to those goods. As such, in the event that the merchandise or the facts are modified in any way, you should resubmit for a ruling request to cover the new situation. You should also be aware that the material 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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