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NY N013737

July 10, 2007



TARIFF NO.: 9403.89.6010

Melissa S. Bautch
Classification Coordinator
Ashley Furniture, Inc.
One Ashley Way

RE: The tariff classification of a marble top night table from China.

Dear Ms. Bautch:

In your letter dated July 2, 2007 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Item B543-92 is described as the “Casa Mollino Night Table.” The table is composed of a marble top supported by a wood sub straight, metal apron, poly legs, wood shelf and wood feet. You have provided a breakdown by weight and value. By weight, the various components are: wood 7.5%, poly 40.5%, metal 16.5% and marble 35.5%. By value, the breakdown is wood 22.0%, poly 18.4%, metal 12.7% and marble 29.4%.

Classification of goods under the HTSUS is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 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 GRI's]." In other words, classification is governed first by the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes.

Inasmuch as the night table is a composite good [metal, marble, poly 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.

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 additional 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 marble component far exceed the value and weight of the remaining components. Further, it is our observation that the marble component plays a more important role in the use of the product than the remaining components. Consequently, it is our opinion that marble imparts the essential character to the night table.

The applicable subheading for the night table will be 9403.89.6010 , Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for “Other furniture and parts thereof: Furniture of other materials, including cane, osier, bamboo or similar materials: Other: Household.” 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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