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NY N021442

January 14, 2008



TARIFF NO.: 9403.60.8080

Ms. Melissa Bautch
Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc.
One Ashley Way
Arcadia, WI 54612

RE: The tariff classification of ottoman/tables from China.

Dear Ms. Bautch:

In your letter dated January 3, 2008, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Photographs and a summary of material and value composition have been provided for three ottoman/tables designed and marketed to be used as occasional tables. Style number T381-21 Is a polyurethane-covered rectangular unit with a storage drawer. The frame and legs are wooden. The wood component of this item is 65% by weight and 45% by value. Style number T496-21 is an ottoman/table with six wooden legs and wood frame supporting a plastic-covered rectangular top and no storage drawers. The wood composition is 78% by weight and 50% by value. Style number T925-21 is a large round ottoman/table with eight wooden legs supporting a plastic-covered top with a wood frame. The plastic is attached by means of brass tacks. The wood composition for this unit is 73% by weight and 33% by value. It is determined that the wood portion imparts the essential character for these styles.

Each of the ottoman/tables is a combination article. It can be used in two disparate activities that are prima facie classifiable under two separate headings of the tariff. When used as an ottoman, the article is classifiable in heading 9401, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS); as a table, the article is provided for in heading 9403, HTSUS. Since no single heading sufficiently describes the whole product in issue, classification cannot be determined by reference to GRI 1, HTSUS. GRI 3 applies when multifunctional goods are put up for sale collectively but are prima facie classifiable under two or more headings of the tariff. GRI 3(b) covers composite goods or goods put up in sets for retail sale and provides that composite goods made up of different components shall be classified as if they consisted of the component which gives them their essential character. In general, "essential character" has been construed to mean the attribute that strongly marks or serves to distinguish the article.

     In this case, the essential character of the ottoman/table is not readily apparent. It is our belief that the essential character of the product is not distinguished by either the ottoman component or by the table feature; the two activities play a more or less equal role in relation to the concept and use of the combination article.

     When the component which gives the product its essential character cannot be determined, classification is determined by way of GRI 3(c) which directs that when goods cannot be classified by reference to GRI 3(b), they shall be classified under the heading which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration.

     The heading which occurs last in numerical order of the two competing headings is 9403, HTSUS.

Accordingly, the applicable subheading for the ottoman/tables 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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