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NY N012185

June 11, 2007



TARIFF NO.: 9403.20.0015

Catherine Gensch
Maersk Customs Services, Inc.
725 N. Central Avenue
Wood Dale, IL 60191

RE: The tariff classification of an iron and wood bed from China.

Dear Ms. Gensch:

In your letter dated June 4, 2007, on behalf of The Sportsman’s Guide, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Item number NS-NI00400 is described as the Old Branch Iron & Wood Bed. The bed features four posts composed of fir wood which weigh 48 pounds for each of the three sizes to be imported: king, queen and full. The metal headboard and footboard are composed of iron and by weight are: king size, 33 pounds; queen size 28 pounds; full size, 25 pounds. The headboard and footboard have a branch leaf motif with a black powder coated finish.

You have submitted a detail sheet with a photograph of the subject beds. The detail sheet indicated that the breakdown of component materials by value is:

King size: 60% metal, 40% wood
Queen size: 57% metal, 43% wood
Full size: 55% metal, 45% wood

Inasmuch as the Old Branch Iron & Wood bed is a composite good [metal and wood] its classification is governed by GRI 3(b), HTSUS, which reads as follows:

3. When, by application of rule 2(b) or for any other reason, goods are prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, classification shall be effected as follows:

(b) Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

The bed is prima facie classifiable under subheading 9403.20.0015, HTSUS, as “other furniture and parts thereof: other metal furniture, household, other” and under subheading 9403.50.9040 HTSUS, as “other furniture and parts thereof: wooden furniture of a kind used in the bedroom: other: beds.”

In understanding the language of the HTSUS, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes to the HTSUS (EN), may be utilized. The EN's, although not dispositive, provide a commentary on the scope of each heading and should be looked to for the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. See T.D. 89-80, 54 FR 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).

Composite goods are classifiable as if they consisted of the component which gives them their essential character. In general, essential character has been construed to mean the attribute which strongly marks or serves to distinguish what an article is, that which is indispensable to the structure, core, or condition of the article. In addition, EN VIII to GRI 3(b), at page 4, provides further factors which help determine the essential character of goods. It reads, as follows:

(VIII) The factor which determines essential character will vary as between different kinds of goods. It may, for example be determined by the nature of the materials or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods.

You have provided information about the product including a value breakdown and a component material breakdown by weight. These breakdowns show that the value and the weight of the metal component exceed the value and weight of the wood. Further, it is our observation that the metal component plays a more important role in the design of the product than the wood. Consequently, it is our opinion that metal imparts the essential character to the bed.

The applicable subheading for the bed will be 9403.20.0015, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for “Other furniture and parts thereof: Other metal furniture, Household: 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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