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NY J80316

February 5, 2003

CLA-2-44:RR:NC:SP:230 J80316


TARIFF NO.: 4407.10.0015; 4421.90.9740

Mr. Bond Kirk
51 Gravel Street
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18705

RE: The tariff classification of lumber used in packaging, from Canada.

Dear Mr. Kirk:

In your letters dated November 25, 2002 and January 13, 2003, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The ruling was requested on sawn, dressed S-P-F wood boards imported to be assembled into frame-like “panels” used in the packaging and transport of lawn tractors. All of the boards will have a 15/16” x 3½” rectangular cross-section and either eased or square-cut edges. They will be pre-cut to nine different specific lengths, the shortest being 37½” and the longest being 117”. The majority of the boards will have square-cut ends, but some of them (those used as diagonal braces, as discussed below) will have a 32-degree angle cut at each end. The boards will be imported in bundles (held together with steel strapping) usually consisting of 624 pieces each. You state that each shipment will contain the exact quantity/combination of pieces to assemble a specific number of panels.

Following importation, “sets” of boards will be arranged in the proper configuration and assembled/fastened together into “panels” by means of small steel truss plates affixed at the joints. Diagrams accompanying your inquiry show that the smaller versions of the panels will consist of four boards comprising a simple rectangular frame, with two additional boards serving as diagonal braces running across the width of the frame. The diagonal braces will have the aforementioned angle-cut ends so that they will be flush with the boards they meet. The larger version of the panel will also consist of a simple, four-board frame, but will have five braces running across the width—two being diagonal and three being perpendicular. Again, only the diagonals will have angle-cut ends. The frame-like assemblies will then be ready to form the side and end panels of a package used to hold and transport a lawn tractor. You state that the panels will be “attached to the supporting base of the package.”

You suggest that the imported goods have an end use similar to that of pallets, and that they might therefore be regarded as “pallet kits” for tariff classification purposes. You propose that they be classified in subheading 4415.20, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for pallets, box-pallets and other load boards, and pallet collars, of wood.

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 4415 read as follows:

Load boards are portable platforms for the assembly of a quantity of goods to form a unit load for handling, transportation and storage by mechanical appliances.

A pallet is a load board consisting of two decks separated by bearers or a single deck supported by feet and designed essentially for handling by means of fork-lift trucks or pallet trucks. Box pallets have a superstructure of at least three fixed, removable or collapsible vertical sides and designed for stacking with a double-decked pallet or another box pallet.

Platforms, post platforms, collar-type box platforms, side-rail platforms and end-rail platforms are other examples of load boards.

Pallet collars are collars made up of four pieces of wood, usually with hinges on the ends to form a frame that is placed over the pallet itself.

We find that the subject goods, either in their condition as imported or after their contemplated assembly into “panels” for packaging, do not answer to any of the above descriptions. While the imported items may in fact be intended for the purpose you describe, in their imported condition they are merely pieces of sawn wood, and are not recognizable as some other article. The frame-like “panels,” assembled from the boards after importation, are not pallets, either in physical form or in use. They are merely components of tractor “packages,” and in fact must be assembled with other components (e.g., bases) for the “packages” to be recognizable or complete. In light of these circumstances, we conclude that the subject goods are not classifiable in heading 4415, HTSUS. The applicable subheading for the imported boards having square-cut ends will be 4407.10.0015, HTSUS, which provides for wood sawn or chipped lengthwise, sliced or peeled, whether or not planed, sanded or end-jointed, of a thickness exceeding 6 mm: coniferousmixtures of spruce, pine and fir (“S-P-F”). The rate of duty will be free.

The applicable subheading for the imported boards having 32-degree angle cuts at each end will be 4421.90.9740, HTSUS, which provides for other (non-enumerated) articles of wood. The general rate of duty will be 3.3%.

The boards with square-cut ends as well as the boards with angle-cut ends 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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