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NY I85993

September 27, 2002

CLA-2-44:RR:NC:2:230 I85993


TARIFF NO.: 4412.13.4060; 9403.90.7000

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

RE: The tariff classification of plywood kitchen end panels from China

Dear Ms. Simmons:

In your letter received in this office on September 3, 2002, you submitted additional information for a previously requested tariff classification ruling. The ruling was requested on behalf of Worldwide Wholesale Lumber.

The products to be classified are plywood kitchen end panels. The panels consist of machined and cut to size plywood to be used as the ends of kitchen cabinets. Two types of end panels will be imported – panels that will be used as wall ends for the cabinets mounted on the upper wall, and panels that will be used as base or vanity ends for the cabinets mounted on the lower wall.

The plywood panels that will be used as wall ends consist of rectangular boards cut to specific cabinet sizes. The boards are 12 mm thick and are composed of nine plies of cross grained veneers. The face and back plies are of “ayous” (also known as obeche) veneer and are each about 0.7 mm thick. The inner plies are of poplar veneer and are each about 1.55 mm thick. The panels are drilled with holes and dadoed. There are nine spaced holes in the center for adjustable shelves. The dado cuts consist of grooves on the surface that run parallel to the top and bottom edges. The dado cuts are for the cabinet frame stile.

The plywood panels that will be used as base ends consist of boards cut to specific cabinet sizes which have been notched to shape. A 3-3/8” x 4” piece of one corner has been cut out for a toe kick. The base ends are composed of the same plywood as the wall ends and are also drilled with holes and dadoed.

You state in your ruling request that the subject merchandise is ready to assemble furniture parts. Therefore, you believe that the appropriate classification is in subheading 9403.90.7000, Harmonized Tariff Schedules of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) which provides for parts of furniture, of wood.

Classification of goods in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI’s) and the Additional U.S. Rules of Interpretation. GRI 1 provides that classification shall first be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

Additional U.S. Interpretation 1(c) states that in the absence of a special language or context which otherwise requires, a provision for parts of an article covers products solely or principally used as a part of such articles but a provision for “parts” or “parts and accessories” does not prevail over a specific provision for such part or accessory.

Heading 4412 provides for plywood, veneered panels and similar laminated wood. Chapter Note 4 of chapter 44 states that products of heading 4410, 4411 or 4412 may be worked to form the shapes provided in respect of articles of heading 4409, curved, corrugated, perforated, cut or formed to shapes other than square or rectangular or submitted to any other operation provided it does not give them the character of articles of other headings.

The plywood panels that will be used as wall ends have not been processed enough to remove them from the terms of the provision for plywood. The drilled holes and dadoed grooves are allowable operations for products of heading 4412, as noted by chapter note 4 of chapter 44. Consequently, these plywood panels, even though they will be used as wall ends for kitchen cabinets, are more specifically provided for as plywood. Based on Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation Note 1(c), they are to be classified as plywood.

The plywood panels that will be used as base ends have been additionally processed besides being drilled and grooved. They have been notched for a toe kick. A substantial portion of a corner has been removed giving the panel a unique shape. This is an operation which is beyond the scope of the plywood provision and which gives the panel the character of a kitchen cabinet part. These panels are classifiable as parts of furniture.

The applicable subheading for the plywood panels to be used as wall ends without the notch for a toe kick will be 4412.13.4060, HTSUSA, which provides for plywood consisting solely of sheets of wood, each ply not exceeding 6 mm in thickness; with at least one outer ply of tropical wood specified in subheading note 1 to this chapter; not surface covered, or surface covered with a clear or transparent material; other, with at least one outer ply of the following tropical woods: . . obeche . . ; other, other, not surface covered. The rate of duty will be 8 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the plywood panels that will be used as base ends with the notch for a toe kick will be 9403.90.7000, HTSUSA, which provides for parts of furniture, other, of wood. The rate of duty will be free.

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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