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NY J89143

October 14, 2003

CLA-2-44:RR:NC:2:230 J89143


TARIFF NO.: 4407.10.0054

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

RE: The tariff classification of lath slats from Canada

Dear Ms. Barney:

In your letter, received in our office on September 17, 2003, you requested a tariff classification ruling. The ruling was requested on behalf of your client, C & C Lath Mill Ltd., of British Columbia, Canada.

The product to be classified is referred to in your letter as “agricultural lath slats.” The slats are described as #3 and better grade Douglas fir species wood laths measuring 5/16” thick by 1-1/2” wide by 40” to 50” long. You state that the slats are placed on top of cardboard boxes containing vegetables to help unitize and stabilize the boxes. A letter from a customer in the United States was submitted, which details that two or more 46” long laths are placed on top of every two layers of boxes, so that, on a pallet with eight layers of boxes, the top layers will not tip over.

Representative sample sections of the lath slats were submitted. The samples consist of rectangular strips of rough sawn wood measuring approximately 7 mm thick by 1-3/8” wide. The strips are not further worked than sawn to size.

You suggested classification of the lath slats as other load boards in subheading 4415.20.8000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for wood pallets, box-pallets and other load boards. Alternatively, you suggested classification in subheading 9817.00.5000, HTSUS, which provides for machinery, equipment and implements to be used for agricultural or horticultural purposes.

Customs has issued several rulings concerning the meaning of the term “other load boards” in heading 4415, HTSUS. See HQ 966437 dated July 24, 2003, HQ 964900 dated September 4, 2002, NY F86079 dated May 10, 2000 and NY J80316 dated February 5, 2003. A load board of heading 4415, as described in the Explanatory Notes (EN 44.15), is a portable platform capable of holding a quantity of merchandise and designed for handling, transportation and storage by mechanical appliances. The platform generally consists of multiple pieces of wood.

The subject lath slats are individual thin, narrow strips of wood, which do not meet the description of load boards. They are not platforms capable of holding a quantity of merchandise and are not designed for handling by mechanical appliances. They are being used as packing material to unitize and stabilize boxes of vegetables. The boxes of vegetables are being transported on pallets, a type of load board within the meaning of heading 4415. Since the lath slats are not load boards, they are not classifiable in subheading 4415.20.8000, HTSUS.

Subheading 9817.00.5000, HTSUS, is the provision covering machinery, equipment or implements to be used in agricultural or horticultural pursuits. Agriculture is commonly defined as the science or art of cultivating the soil, harvesting crops and raising livestock. Horticulture is defined as the art or science of growing flowers, fruits, vegetables and shrubs. See HQ 963840 dated July 21, 2000. Transportation activities are a marketing function and as such, are not agricultural or horticultural in nature. The use of the subject lath slats as packing material for the transportation of boxes of vegetables is not an agricultural or horticultural pursuit. Therefore, subheading 9817.00.5000, HTSUS, is not applicable for the lath slats.

In their condition as imported, the lath slats are simply pieces of sawn wood, suitable for a variety of applications. The applicable subheading for the lath slats will be 4407.10.0054, 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; coniferous, other, not treated, Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), rough, having a minimum dimension less than 5.1 cm. The general rate of duty will be free.

The lath slats 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 and origin 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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