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NY F87750

June 26, 2000

CLA-2-44:RR:NC:SP:230 F87750


TARIFF NO.: 4421.90.9840

Mr. Michel Bouchard
Keachard Inc.
6780, 1 ere avenue 310-3
Charlesbourg, Quebec G1H 2W8

RE: The tariff classification of wooden shims from Canada.

Dear Mr. Bouchard:

In your undated letter received here on May 30, 2000, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The items in question are wooden shims, samples of which were submitted. The samples are small, wedge-shaped (tapered) pieces of wood, approximately 3½ cm wide by 23 cm long. They are approximately 10 mm thick at one end and taper down to about 1 mm at the other end. Our examination of the samples indicates that the thickness of each shim is less than 6 mm along more than half of its length.

You state that the shims are made by running a multi-saw track up and down a piece of 2x3 spruce lumber. The samples you submitted are of two kinds: 1) individual, fully cut shims, as described above (bundled together with a rubber band) and 2) a block of wood in which the cuts that form the shims have not quite gone all the way through the block, thus requiring the user to break off the individual shims.

Products such as the instant ones have multiple uses. For example, they can be used as paint stirrers, plant props, or as levelers or fillers between materials or parts to make them fit firmly together. You give the example of equalizing the frame of a window or a door case. The competing provisions for this merchandise are headings 4407, 4408 and 4421, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS).

Heading 4407 provides for sawn wood of a thickness exceeding 6 mm. The corresponding Explanatory Notes indicate that such wood need not be of “uniform section along the length.” Sawn, tapered wood may therefore qualify for inclusion within heading 4407, but would have to be wholly over 6 mm in thickness in order to meet the heading’s explicit dimensional requirement. Although a portion of each of the instant shims exceeds 6 mm, well over 50 percent does not.

Heading 4408 provides for veneer sheets and other wood, sawn lengthwise, sliced or peeled, of a thickness not exceeding 6 mm. Although the heading and its associated Explanatory Notes are silent on the need for these products to be of uniform thickness, their very nature requires a precise and constant thickness throughout. Goods classifiable in heading 4408 would therefore exhibit a uniform thickness of 6 mm or less. As we have explained, the instant shims are of non-uniform thickness with a substantial part exceeding 6 mm.

The above analysis shows that the subject products neither have the essential character of sawn wood of heading 4407, HTS, nor of veneer or other wood sawn lengthwise of heading 4408, HTS. Thus, the applicable subheading for the wooden shims, imported either fully or almost fully cut as described above, will be 4421.90.9840, HTS, which provides for other (non-enumerated) articles of wood. The general rate of duty will be 3.3%.

We note that the samples are not marked with their country of origin. Unless excepted by law, section 304, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), requires that every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the United States shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly, and permanently as the nature of the article (or container) will permit, in such manner as to indicate to an ultimate purchaser in the United States the English name of the country of origin of the article.

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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