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NY J82489

March 27, 2003

CLA-2-45:RR:NC:2:230 J82489


TARIFF NO.: 4504.10.3000

Mr. Stan Vick
Kuehne & Nagel, Inc.
235 Southfield Parkway
Forest Park, GA 30297

RE: The tariff classification of laminated cork flooring from Germany

Dear Mr. Vick:

In your letter dated February 25, 2003, on behalf of the importer, Parador USA Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The ruling was requested on two flooring products, listed as item A and item B. Item A is identified as “Parador Bellano Click” and item B is identified as “Parador Portino Click.” Representative samples and descriptive literature were submitted.

Item A is a laminated wood flooring plank (185 mm wide x 2200 mm long x 13 mm thick) consisting of three layers. The top layer is composed of three strips of 4 mm thick cherry veneer. The middle layer is composed of multiple strips of 9 mm thick lumber of an unidentified wood species and one strip of 9 mm thick fiberboard at the end. The bottom layer consists of a sheet of 1 mm thick coniferous wood. The grains of the layers run at angles to each other. The edges and ends are tongued and grooved with a patented “SAFE-LOCK” profile. The profile includes additional grooves along the tongued and grooved edges. The surface is finished with a clear lacquer coating.

Litigation involving this type of lumbercore plywood flooring is currently pending before the United States Court of International Trade, (Boen Hardwood Flooring, Inc. v. United States, Court No. 96-08-02006). Thus, in accordance with Section 177.7(b) of the Customs Regulations [19 C.F.R. 177.7(b)], a ruling cannot be issued for item A. When all litigation has been concluded on the case referenced above, you may resubmit your request for a ruling.

Item B is a laminated cork flooring panel (295 mm wide x 910 mm long x 10.5 mm thick) consisting of three layers. The top layer is composed of 3 mm thick agglomerated cork. The middle layer is composed of 6.5 mm thick wood fiberboard with a density of 0.87 grams per cubic centimeter. The bottom layer consists of 1 mm thick agglomerated cork. The edges and ends are tongued and grooved with a patented “SAFE-LOCK” profile. The sample submitted has a natural coarse grain surface which has been dyed blue and finished with lacquer.

Item B is a composite good consisting of agglomerated cork and wood fiberboard. The essential character of item B is imparted by the cork because the cork plays a more important role in the functioning of this item. The cork layer is the wear layer providing the particular flooring properties of this item. The fiberboard provides support and machining capability which is of secondary importance for the subject cork flooring panel.

The applicable subheading for item B, the “Parador Portino Click,” will be 4504.10.3000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for agglomerated cork (with or without a binding substance) and articles of agglomerated cork; blocks, plates, sheets and strip; tiles of any shape; floor coverings. 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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