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NY G81559

September 18, 2000

CLA-2-44:RR:NC:2:230 G81559


TARIFF NO.: 4418.90.4090; 9403.60.8080

Mr. Todd D. Boucher
Glover Customs Brokers, Inc.
1510 Walkley Road
Ottawa, Ontario K1V 6P5

RE: The tariff classification of fireplace mantel surround units vent cover kits, upper shelf units and side cabinets from Canada

Dear Mr. Boucher:

In your letter dated August 10, 2000, on behalf of your client Vissan Designs Limited, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The ruling was requested on fireplace mantel surround units, vent cover kits, upper shelf units, side cabinets, hearth pads and mantel caps. Descriptive literature was submitted.

Several models of fireplace mantel surround units were represented in the literature. The fireplace surrounds will be imported as complete units. A typical unit consists of a wood mantel top, a wood mantel base, a wood mantel header, two wood side sections, a wood and tile hearth, and wood fascia, moldings and trim.

Some models include tile facing kits which cover part of the space between the fireplace surround and the fireplace. The tile facing kits consist of panels of tiles glued to a wood backing. The panels are designed and sized for a particular fireplace surround unit.

The essential character of the various models of fireplace mantel surrounds imported as complete units is imparted by the wood. The wood parts exceed the tile parts in quantity and comprise the more important parts of the surround unit.

You stated in your letter that the complete fireplace surround units should be classified as furniture in subheading 9403.60.8080, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) and that parts shipped separately should be classified as parts of furniture in subheading 9403.90.7000, HTSUSA. You believe that the fireplace surround units meet the description of furniture found in the Explanatory Notes (EN) to Chapter 94.

However, we find that the fireplace surround units do not meet the description of furniture as noted in the EN. Fireplace surround units are not used mainly with a utilitarian purpose. They are used mainly to finish off a fireplace and are permanently fixed to a wall. Fireplace surround units are not listed in chapter note 2 of Chapter 94 which lists articles designed to be hung or fixed to a wall that are classifiable as furniture.

Wood fireplace surround units meet the description of builders’ joinery in heading 4418, HTSUS. They are builders’ fittings used in the finish and trim of a house and are similar to door or window frames as noted in the EN for heading 4418.

The applicable subheading for the complete fireplace mantel surround units will be 4418.90.4090, HTSUSA, which provides for builders’ joinery and carpentry of wood; other, other. The rate of duty will be 3.2 percent ad valorem.

In addition to the standard fireplace surround units described above, the classification of optional items which will be attached to the surround units was also requested. The optional items are a vent cover kit, an upper shelf unit and side cabinets.

The vent cover kit is an upper wall covering unit consisting of wood panels and moldings that match the fireplace surround unit and extend from the fireplace mantel up to the ceiling. The vent cover conceals any open vents connected to a fireplace. Vent cover kits are used in the finish and trim of a house in the same manner as fireplace surround units.

The applicable subheading for the vent cover kit will be the same as for the fireplace surround units, 4418.90.4090, HTSUSA, as noted above.

The optional upper shelf unit is a bookcase with several shelves made of wood. It is mounted on top of a fireplace surround unit and extends to the ceiling. The sides and top of the shelf unit match the trim of the surround unit.

The side cabinets are floor standing cabinets with several shelves made of wood. The cabinets are attached to either side of a fireplace surround unit.

The optional upper shelf unit and side cabinets are classifiable separately from the fireplace mantel surround units. The shelf unit and cabinets meet the description of furniture noted in the EN to Chapter 94. They are used mainly for a utilitarian purpose. In addition, they are “cupboards, bookcases, other shelved furniture and unit furniture” included in chapter note 2 of Chapter 94, as articles designed to be hung or fixed to a wall that may be classified as furniture.

The applicable subheading for the upper shelf unit and the side cabinets will be 9403.60.8080, HTSUSA, which provides for other wooden furniture. The rate of duty will be Free.

The tariff classification was also requested for hearth pads and tile facing kits that will be imported separately and for beam mantel caps. Beam mantel caps are surrounds for two-sided corner fireplaces and for three-sided pier fireplaces.

Your inquiry does not provide enough information to issue a classification ruling for the hearth pads, tile facing kits and beam mantel caps. Your request for a ruling for these products should include a detailed description of each product including how it will be packed and imported. Please describe all the parts that are included with a typical beam mantel cap and include a color photo. Identify all component materials of the beam mantel, the hearth pad and the tile facing kit and give a breakdown by value and by weight of the materials in each. State what kind of tile it is, the thickness of the tile and submit a small sample piece of the tile. When this information is available, you may wish to consider resubmission of you request.

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 the ruling letter, 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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