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HQ 965496

July 17, 2002

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 965496 RH


TARIFF NO.: 9406.00.4000

Area Port Director
U.S. Customs Service
198 W. Service Road
Champlain, New York 12919

RE: Request for Internal Advice; IA 02/001; 19 CFR §177.11(b); Classification of Prefabricated Buildings; NY H83209, dated July 20, 2001; HQ 962347, dated November 19, 2001, Incorporated by Reference

Dear Sir:

This is in reply to your memorandum of December 18, 2001, seeking internal advice regarding the classification of “log home kits” imported by Outaouais Log Homes. Your request is made pursuant to 19 CFR §177.11(b).

In your memorandum you state that “the classification of this commodity has inadvertently reached the point where unfamiliarity with house construction, the nature of imported materials and the peculiarity of the industry have caused inconsistency and conflict in Customs rulings.” Specifically, your request asks our office to address two issues:
the appropriateness of a binding ruling request that omits the required statement as to issues before Customs or the courts;
the classification of unassembled house kits imported from Canada.


On July 11, 2000, the Port of Champlain issued a Notice of Action on Customs Form (CF) 29 to Outaouais Log Homes stating that its log home kits were classified in accordance with New York Ruling Letter (NY) F88035, i.e., each of the materials in the house package was classifiable separately in its applicable subheading and not as a prefabricated building under subheading 9406.00.4000, HTSUS.

Sometime after Customs issued the CF 29, Outaouais Log Homes submitted a ruling request and received NY H83209, dated July 20, 2001, classifying its unassembled log homes under subheading 9406.00.4000, HTSUS, as prefabricated buildings. NY H83209 is incorporated herein by reference.


Did Customs correctly classify Outaouais’ unassembled log homes under subheading 9406.00.4000, HTSUS, in NY H83209?


We agree with your office that the classification of unassembled prefabricated buildings is a complex area. We enclose a copy of the most recent headquarters decision, HQ 962347, dated November 19, 2001, which sets forth a detailed analysis of heading 9406, HTSUS, concerning the classification of unassembled prefabricated buildings. The law and analysis set forth in HQ 962347 is incorporated herein by reference.

As noted in your memorandum, each “type of structure must be viewed in total and individually”, and every ruling must be considered on a case by case basis. In that regard, we reviewed HQ H83209 and conclude that the holding in that ruling was correct based on the information provided. Accordingly, unless the merchandise entered by Outaouais Log Homes is not the same as that described in HQ H83209, it should be classified under subheading 9406.40.0000, HTSUS, as held in the ruling. Assuming the merchandise is the same, the ruling is binding on both Customs and the importer, notwithstanding the CF 29.

We also reviewed NY F88035 and the other rulings cited by your office and conclude that the holdings set forth in those decisions were correct, based on the information provided.

Unfortunately, the documents pertaining to HQ H83209 are no longer available as they were destroyed on September 11, 2001. Therefore, we have no record of whether the importer advised Customs in its ruling request that a CF 29 had previously been issued by Customs. Accordingly, we defer to your FPF office concerning the merits of pursuing a penalty action for failure to respond to the CF 29, as that issue is outside the scope of our branch.


NY H83209, dated July 20, 2001, is AFFIRMED. The unassembled log homes were correctly classified under subheading 9406.00.4000, HTSUS. See, HQ 962347, dated November 19, 2001, incorporated by reference.

If you have any questions regarding this decision, please contact Rebecca Hollaway of my staff at (202) 572-8814.


John E. Elkins, Chief
Textile Classification Branch

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