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NY J86688

July 31, 2003

CLA-2-44:RR:NC:SP:230 J86688


TARIFF NO.: 4418.90.4520; 4418.90.4540

Mr. Douglas G. McKenny
Norman G. Jensen, Inc.
395 Caswell Avenue
Derby Line, VT 05830

RE: The tariff classification of unassembled wood trusses from Canada.

Dear Mr. McKenny:

In your letter dated July 7, 2003, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client, Les Bois S&P Grondin Inc. (Ste. Marie, Quebec, Canada).

Your client intends to manufacture wood trusses in Canada and ship them to customers the United States. The trusses will be shipped in unassembled condition in order to reduce transportation costs. All the wooden components (top chords, bottom chords, webs and wedges) for an exact number of specifically designed trusses will be shipped together as kits on the same truck. There will be no spare pieces, and no further cutting will be done after importation. Once delivered, the components need only be assembled together with metal connector plates. (The latter will not be included in the imported kits, but will be supplied in the United States.)

Your client explains further:

Our customers will order specific trusses to meet design specifications. Each component will meet design specifications: e.g., cut to length, one or both ends cut to the proper angle (some ends may have double angle cuts), grade specification on SPF lumber (stud, 2 & btr or msr).

Representative engineering drawings of several roof and floor truss designs accompanied your letter. Based on the drawings, it appears that while many components will have one or both ends cut at an angle other than a right angle, in some cases one or a few components may be straight cut at the ends. In these cases, the straight cut parts are designed to fit this way in the particular truss. We assume that, in accordance with your client’s presentation, no additional cutting will be required or intended.

General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 2(a) of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) states:

Any reference in a heading to an article shall be taken to include a reference to that article incomplete or unfinished, provided that, as entered, the incomplete or unfinished article has the essential character of the complete or finished article. It shall also include a reference to that article complete or finished (or falling to be classified as complete or finished by virtue of this rule), entered unassembled or disassembled.

As discussed above, the subject trusses will be imported in the form of unassembled wooden components without the required connecting hardware. However, despite the absence of the hardware, we find that the imported wood components have the essential character of the complete or finished truss. The wood components allow the truss to perform its function, i.e., to provide the frame, support and shape to a roof or other part of a building. Thus, the imported goods meet the terms of GRI 2(a) and can be classified as if they were complete or finished trusses.

The applicable subheading for the unassembled wood roof trusses will be 4418.90.4520, HTSUSA, which provides for builders’ joinery and carpentry of wood: other: roof trusses. The general rate of duty will be 3.2%.

The applicable subheading for the unassembled wood floor trusses will be 4418.90.4540, HTSUSA, which provides for builders’ joinery and carpentry of wood: other: other fabricated structural wood members. The general rate of duty will be 3.2%.

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 Bureau of Customs and Border Protection.

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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