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NY H82653

July 18, 2001

CLA-2-44:RR:NC:2:230 H82653


TARIFF NO.: 4412.14.3060

Ms. Jill Simmons
International Trade Consultants, Inc.
P.O. Box 20160
Charleston, SC 29413-0160

RE: The tariff classification of amesclao plywood with the grain of two of the seven plies running at an angle to the grain of the adjacent plies from Brazil

Dear Ms. Simmons:

In your letter dated May 25, 2001, on behalf of the importer, Tumac Lumber Co., you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The ruling was requested on a laminated wood product which you describe as a veneered panel. A sample section of the product was submitted. The product is a seven ply laminated panel composed of a tropical wood species with a scientific name of Trattinickia burseraesolia and a common name of amesclao. The panel is 11 mm thick and each ply is under 6 mm in thickness. The grains of the first (or face), third, fourth and fifth (three inner plies) and seventh (back) plies run in the long grain direction. The grains of the second and sixth plies run in the cross grain direction or at right angles to their adjacent plies.

Classification of goods under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that classification is determined first according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative Section or Chapter notes.

The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (EN) provide a commentary on the scope of each heading. Although not legally binding, the EN may be consulted when determining the classification of a product under a particular heading.

Heading 4412 provides for plywood, veneered panels and similar laminated wood.

The EN for heading 4412 describe plywood as follows:

This heading covers:

(1) Plywood consisting of three or more sheets of wood glued and pressed one on the other and generally disposed so that the grains of successive layers are at an angle; this gives the panels greater strength and, by compensating shrinkage, reduces warping. Each component sheet is known as a “ply” and plywood is usually formed of an odd number of plies, the middle ply being called the “core”.

Based on the above EN description, you and the importer believe that the product being imported is not classifiable as plywood within heading 4412, but rather as veneered panels other than plywood. Specifically, because the grains of the three middle layers all run in the same direction, you believe that the product does not meet the description of plywood.

However, it should be noted that the above EN description states that plywood is generally disposed so that the grains of successive layers are at an angle. It does not require that the grain of every ply or sheet be at an angle to the adjacent ply.

The plywood industry does not require that the grain of every ply be at an angle to the adjacent ply. Note the definition of plywood given as the voluntary product standard for the industry in U.S. Product Standard PS 1-74/ANSI A199.1:

Plywood - Plywood is a flat panel built up of sheets of veneer called plys, united under pressure by a bonding agent to create a panel with an adhesive bond between plys as strong as or stronger than, the wood. Plywood is constructed of an odd number of layers with grain of adjacent layers perpendicular. Layers may consist of a single ply or two or more plys laminated with grain direction parallel. Outer layers and all odd numbered layers generally have the grain direction oriented parallel to the long dimension of the panel. The odd number of layers with alternating grain direction equalizes strains, prevents splitting, and minimizes dimensional change and warping of the panel. (italics added)

The product being imported consists of a core (composed of three plies) with the grain running in one direction and adjacent layers with the grain running at angles to the core and to the outer plies. The panel has been strengthened by the cross grained plies. It meets the description of plywood.

The applicable subheading for the amesclao plywood will be 4412.14.3060, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for plywood consisting solely of sheets of wood, each ply not exceeding 6 mm in thickness; other, with at least one outer ply of nonconiferous wood; not surface covered; other. The rate of duty will be 8 percent ad valorem.

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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