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NY E86956

June 30, 2000

CLA-2-44:RR:NC:SP:230 E86956


TARIFF NO.: 4407.10.0015

Mr. Rick Marks
Marks Lumber Limited
P.O. Box 1341
Brantford, Ontario N3T 5T6

RE: The tariff classification of lumber, imported as wall-frame kits, from Canada.

Dear Mr. Marks:

In your letter dated September 1, 1999, you requested a tariff classification ruling. We regret that our reply was delayed by an ongoing review of the classification of certain trade-sensitive wood products.

The ruling was requested on “unassembled wall panels,” i.e., wall-frame kits consisting of unassembled, pre-cut pieces of S-P-F lumber. Each unassembled panel will be composed of “plates” (2x4 boards used as the horizontal top and bottom pieces of the frame) and “studs” (2x4 vertical members). The lengths and quantities of the boards will depend on the design and size of the particular wall to be constructed by the customer. You state, however, that each shipment will consist of the proper ratio of boards required to produce an exact, pre-specified number of panels. Following importation, the boards need only be assembled together using nails or other fasteners.

The competing tariff headings for this merchandise are 4407, HTS, which provides for sawn wood (including beams, planks, flitches, boards, laths, etc.), and 4418, HTS, which provides for builders’ joinery and carpentry of wood.

You argue that the latter applies to the subject boards, noting that in their imported condition, they are precision-cut components, ready for assembly into a framework that will become an integral part of a building. You believe that you “have shown that the panels are shipped in a manner that they have the essential characteristics of completed wall panels,” and you note that such panels are essential to the structural integrity of any building, serving to provide support for other structural members, such as roof trusses. You thus conclude that the merchandise should be accorded treatment under heading 4418, HTS.

We must point out, however, that despite their intended use, the imported “unassembled panels” are merely assemblages of plain, unworked 2x4 lumber. That the boards have been precisely cut to length and put up for sale in certain combinations does nothing to alter their physical identity as generic sawn wood.

The Harmonized Explanatory Notes indicate that heading 4418 applies to “woodworkused in the construction of any kind of building, etc., in the form of assembled goods or as recognizable unassembled pieces (e.g., prepared with tenons, mortises, dovetails or other similar joints for assembly).” Since the instant products are neither assembled goods nor “recognizable unassembled pieces” as contemplated by the preceding description, they do not answer to heading 4418.

Accordingly, the applicable subheading for the “unassembled wall panels” will be 4407.10.0015, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (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: coniferousmixtures of spruce, pine, and fir (“S-P-F”). The rate of duty will be free.

Articles classifiable in subheading 4407.10.0015, 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.

The holding set forth above applies only to the specific factual situation and merchandise description as identified in the ruling request. This position is clearly set forth in 19 CFR 177.9(b)(1). This section states that a ruling letter is issued on the assumption that all of the information furnished in connection with the ruling request and incorporated therein, either directly, by reference, or by implication, is accurate and complete in every material respect.

This ruling is being issued under the assumption that the subject goods, in their condition as imported into the United States, conform to the facts and the description as set forth both in the ruling request and in this ruling. In the event that the facts or merchandise are modified in any way, you should bring this to the attention of Customs and you should resubmit for a new ruling in accordance with 19 CFR 177.2. 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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