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NY R02169

July 14, 2005

MAR-2 RR:NC:2:230 R02169


Mr. Charles E. Hughes
Hardwood Veneer Corporation
P.O. Box 44
Taylor Ridge, IL 61284


Dear Mr. Hughes:

This is in response to your letter dated June 21, 2005 requesting a country of origin ruling on teak lumber produced in Malaysia from logs originating in Burma.

The importation of any article that is a product of Burma is presently prohibited by Executive Order 13310 of July 28, 2003 (Federal Register, Vol. 68, No. 146). Consequently, you request a ruling determining whether the teak lumber to be imported from Malaysia is considered to be a product of Malaysia or of Burma.

You state that the material received in Malaysia from Burma is in the form of round teak logs. Logs are timbers in their natural state as felled, with the branches lopped off and the bark removed.

In Malaysia, the logs are sawn into lumber boards of various dimensions. The boards have thicknesses of 1”, 1-1/2” or 2”, random widths and lengths of 6’ and longer. The lumber is kiln dried before being bundled and banded for shipment to the United States.

The teak lumber will be imported by you for distribution to decking companies, who will use the teak for decking on boats. You further state that the shipment of teak lumber will be accompanied by a Certificate of Origin issued by Malaysia.

Section 134.1(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.1(b)), defines the "country of origin" as "the country of manufacture, production, or growth of any article of foreign origin entering the United States. Further work or material added to an article in another country must effect a substantial transformation in order to render such other country the 'country of origin' within the meaning of this part; however, for a good of a NAFTA country, the NAFTA Marking Rules will determine the country of origin." For tariff purposes, the courts have held that a substantial transformation occurs if a new and different article emerges having a distinctive name, character or use. AnheuserBusch Brewing Association v. The United States, 207 U.S. 556 (1908) and Uniroyal Inc. v. United States, 542 F. Supp. 1026 (1982).

The logs from Burma are substantially transformed into new and different articles when processed in Malaysia. The teak lumber produced in Malaysia has a different name, character and use than that of teak logs. Therefore, the country of origin of the teak lumber is Malaysia.

Importation of these products may be subject to import regulations administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.). Information regarding applicable regulations administered by the U.S.D.A. may be addressed to that agency at the following location:

U.S. Department of Agriculture
4700 River Road, Unit 136
Riverdale, MD 20737

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 U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) 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 CBP.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 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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