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NY R05138

November 7, 2006

CLA-2-94:RR:E:NC:SP:233 R05138


TARIFF NO.: 9403.60.8080

Mr. Michael Shea
Hellmann Worldwide Logistics, Inc.
635 Airport South Parkway
Suite 200
Atlanta, GA 30349

RE: The tariff classification of top and bottom pieces of a buffet/hutch from China.

Dear Mr. Shea:

In your letter dated October 27, 2006, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The merchandise under consideration is a buffet/hutch made of wood. You are requesting the classification of the top and bottom pieces if imported separately. In some cases, an import shipment will have different numbers of top pieces and bottom pieces. You have submitted a photograph depicting the buffet/hutch assembled as a unit with your request.

Classification of goods under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI1 provides that “classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, and, provided such headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to the remaining GRIs taking in order.” In other words, classification is governed first by the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN) to the HTSUS, although not dispositive, should be looked to for the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. General (EN) (4) (B) (i) to Chapter 94, HTSUS, reads as follows:

For the purposes of this Chapter, the term “furniture” means:

The following:

Cupboards, bookcases, other shelved furniture and unit furniture, designed to be hung, to be fixed to the wall or to stand one on the other or side by side, for holding various objects or articles (books, crockery, kitchen utensils, glassware, linen, medicaments, toilet articles, radio or television receivers, ornaments, etc.) and separately presented elements of unit furniture.

The legal notes and heading texts, as well as the ENs, for Chapter 94, and heading 9403, HTSUS, do not provide a definition of the term “unit furniture.” In the absence of such guidance, tariff terms may be construed in accordance with their common and commercial meanings. Common and commercial meaning may be determined by consulting dictionaries, lexicons, scientific authorities and other reliable resource materials.

A search of relevant sources indicates that the term “unit furniture” is similar in meaning to the term “modular furniture,” in which different elements of furniture are designed and intended to be used to create one unit. For example, one unit could consist of a base floor cabinet with a hutch designed to rest on the top. Such furniture is clearly designed to be used together. Noting the above cited EN, it is our opinion that the subject buffet/hutch top and bottom pieces are separately presented elements of unit furniture which are designed to stand one on the other. Consequently, classification of the pieces as other wooden furniture is appropriate.

The applicable subheading for the buffet/hutch top and bottom pieces will be 9403.60.8080, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for “Other furniture and parts thereof: Other wooden furniture: Other, Other.” The rate of duty will be Free.

Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUS and the accompanying duty rates are provided on World Wide Web at http://www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/.

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 Lawrence Mushinske at 646-733-3036.


Robert B. Swierupski

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