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NY F81564

February 10, 2000

CLA-2-44:RR:NC:2:230 F81564


TARIFF NO.: 4403.20.0042

Ms. Betty Barney
Norman G. Jensen, Inc.
P.O. Box 3789
Blaine, WA 98231-3789

RE: The tariff classification of roughly squared logs from Canada

Dear Ms. Barney:

In your letter dated January 5, 2000, on behalf of your client, Peter Rebus Lumber Sales, Ltd., you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The ruling was requested on roughly squared logs of various softwood lumber species. The logs will be imported by Precision Craft Log Structures. A brochure and a product information sheet show that Precision Craft manufactures log homes.

Photographs of a representative shipment showing side views and end views of the logs to be imported were submitted. The photographs show whole logs which have been roughly squared. All of the logs have substantial amounts of wane and bark remaining on at least two edge corners. The representative shipment consists of a mixture of spruce, pine and fir logs.

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. . .

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 of roughly rectangular (including square) cross-section; roughly squared wood is characterized by the presence of rough areas or bark traces. (Emphasis added.)

The roughly squared logs to be imported, as represented by the photographs, have substantial amounts of bark and wane remaining on the edge corners. They reflect the condition of the original tree trunk. Based on the EN description, they are classifiable in heading 4403.

The species of wood of the roughly squared logs is a mixture of spruce, pine and fir. Classification of mixtures is governed by GRI 3. When not specifically provided for and when the essential character of the mixture cannot be determined, GRI 3(c) directs that the mixture be classified under the heading (or subheading) which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration.

The applicable subheading for the mixture of roughly squared spruce, pine and fir logs will be 4403.20.0042, 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 (than treated); coniferous; logs and timber; other fir. The rate of duty will be Free.

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 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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