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NY I84681

August 12, 2002

CLA-2-44:RR:NC:SP:230 I84681


TARIFF NO.: 4409.10.9020

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

RE: The tariff classification of grooved boards to be used in the manufacture of planters, from Canada.

Dear Ms. Barney:

In your letters dated July 8 and July 31, 2002, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of Lawrence R. McCoy, Inc. (Worcester, MA) and Aquila Cedar Products, Ltd. (Parksville, BC, Canada).

A sample of a solid, sawn wood (Western red cedar) board having a flat and rectangular cross section was submitted for our examination. It is 11/16” in thickness, 3½” in width and 15¾” in length. Two ¾”-wide grooves run across the width of one face, equidistant (about 1½”) from the ends. The edges and ends are square-cut.

After importation, the grooved boards, as represented by the sample, will undergo some additional processing and will then serve as the upright boards in outdoor, “barrel-style” planters. Illustrative literature accompanying your inquiry shows several round planters (open-top receptacles) whose sides consist of a series of edge-to-edge vertical boards encircled by two steel straps that rest inside the grooves of each board. (One strap is near the top of the planter, while the other is near the bottom).

You refer to the instant sample as a “barrel stave,” and suggest that it is classifiable in subheading 4416.00.6010, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for casks, barrels, vats, tubs and other coopers’ products and parts thereof, of wood, including staves:new staves. When interpreting and implementing the HTSUS, the Explanatory Notes (ENs) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System may be utilized. The ENs, while neither legally binding nor dispositive, provide a guiding commentary on the scope of each heading, and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. Pertinent excerpts from the EN to heading 4416 read as follows:

This heading is restricted to containers which are products of the coopers’ trade.
The heading also covers staves and all other wooden products, finished or not, recognizable as parts of coopers’ products (e.g., barrel heads, hoopwood cut to length and notched at the ends for assembly). The heading also includes unfinished staves (stavewood), that is, the strips of wood used for forming the sides, heads or bottoms of barrels and other coopers’ products. Such stavewood may be in the form of:

(2) Sawn staves, provided that at least one of the two principal faces is concave or convex, such curved surfaces being produced by sawing with a cylindrical saw.
The heading excludes:
Wood which is sawn flat on both principal faces (heading 44.07 or 44.08).

We find that the planters depicted in the submitted literature are not products of the coopers’ trade, and that the submitted sample is not recognizable as a part of coopers’ products. Furthermore, the submitted sample is sawn flat on both principal faces. It therefore fails to qualify for classification in heading 4416. If it were not grooved, it would be classifiable in heading 4407, as suggested by the EN, but the grooves render it a product of heading 4409.

Accordingly, the applicable subheading for the face-grooved boards represented by the sample will be 4409.10.9020, HTSUS, which provides for wood continuously shaped (tongued, grooved, rebated) along any of its edges, ends or faces, whether or not planed, sanded or end-jointed: coniferous otherWestern red cedar. The rate of duty will be free.

The merchandise in question may be subject to antidumping duties and/or countervailing duties. A list of AD/CVD proceedings at the Department of Commerce (DOC) and their product coverage can be obtained from the DOC website at: http://ia.ita.doc.gov, or you may write to them at the U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, Office of Antidumping Compliance, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20230. Written decisions regarding the scope of AD/CVD orders are issued by the Import Administration in the Department of Commerce and are separate from tariff classification rulings issued by Customs. 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 646-733-3035.


Robert B. Swierupski

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