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NY N023472

March 20, 2008



TARIFF NO.: 4418.72.2000

Ms. Carolyn Leski
BCB International, Inc.
1010 Niagara Street
Buffalo, NY 14213-1501

RE: The country of origin, tariff classification and status under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), of multilayer hemlock flooring from Canada; Article 509

Dear Ms. Leski:

In your letter dated February 11, 2008, on behalf of your client, Historic Woods Inc., you requested a ruling on the country of origin, tariff classification and status of reclaimed hemlock flooring from Canada under the NAFTA.

A sample of the hemlock flooring to be imported from Canada was submitted. The sample is a laminated multilayer wood flooring board measuring approximately ¾” thick x 4” wide x 17” long. It is composed of a 7 mm thick face or wear layer of solid hemlock laminated to a 12 mm thick nine-ply Baltic birch plywood, each ply 1 mm to 1.5 mm thick. The edges and ends of the laminated board are tongued and grooved. The back of the board has one groove running across the width. The surface of the board is smooth and not covered with any material.

The multilayer hemlock wood flooring was custom manufactured in Canada by Historic Woods Inc. from hemlock wood obtained from the United States and Baltic birch plywood obtained from Latvia. The hemlock wood was reclaimed from a building demolished in New Jersey. Five skids of old floor joists consisting of various lengths of rough hemlock planks were sent to Canada. In Canada, the hemlock planks were sliced to a thickness of 7mm, cut to a width of 4” and then glued to a Baltic birch plywood substrate. The birch plywood was imported into Canada from Latvia in the form of 5’ x 5’ and 4’ x 8’ sheets. In Canada, the plywood was cut to width, faced with the hemlock wear layer, tongued and grooved on the edges and ends and grooved on the back. The finished laminated hemlock flooring will be returned to the original owner of the reclaimed hemlock planks.

The applicable tariff provision for the multilayer hemlock flooring will be 4418.72.2000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for: Builders’ joinery and carpentry of wood: Assembled flooring panels: Other, multilayer: Having a face ply more than 6 mm in thickness. The general rate of duty will be 3.2 percent ad valorem.

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/.

General Note 12(b), HTSUS, sets forth the criteria for determining whether a good is originating under the NAFTA. General Note 12(b), HTSUS, (19 U.S.C. § 1202) states, in pertinent part, that

For the purposes of this note, goods imported into the customs territory of the United States are eligible for the tariff treatment and quantitative limitations set forth in the tariff schedule as "goods originating in the territory of a NAFTA party" only if--

(i) they are goods wholly obtained or produced entirely in the territory of Canada, Mexico and/or the United States; or

(ii) they have been transformed in the territory of Canada, Mexico and/or the United States so that--

(A) except as provided in subdivision (f) of this note, each of the non-originating materials used in the production of such goods undergoes a change in tariff classification described in subdivisions (r), (s) and (t) of this note or the rules set forth therein.

Based on the facts provided, the multilayer hemlock flooring, described above, qualifies for NAFTA preferential treatment, because it will meet the requirements of HTSUS General Note 12(b)(ii)(A). The non-originating birch plywood, classifiable in heading 4412, HTSUS, when imported into Canada, undergoes the change in tariff classification described in subdivision (t) of the note. The multilayer hemlock flooring will therefore be entitled to a free rate of duty under the NAFTA upon compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and agreements.

The country of origin for a "good of a NAFTA country" is determined in accordance with Annex 311 of the North American Free Trade Agreement ("NAFTA"), as implemented by section 207 of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat 2057) (December 8, 1993) and the appropriate Customs Regulations. The rules of origin are contained in Part 102, Customs Regulations.

Section 102.11, Customs Regulations, sets forth the required hierarchy for determining the country of origin of imported goods other than textile or apparel products. This section states, in pertinent part:

(a) The country of origin of a good is the country in which:

(1) The good is wholly obtained or produced;

(2) The good is produced exclusively from domestic materials; or

(3) Each foreign material incorporated in that good undergoes an applicable change in tariff classification set out in §102.20 and satisfies any other applicable requirements of that section . . .

Section 102.1 (e), Customs Regulations, defines “foreign material” as a material whose country of origin as determined under these rules is not the same country as the country in which the good is produced.

In this case, the foreign materials imported into Canada are the hemlock planks from the United States and the Baltic birch plywood from Latvia. The hemlock planks were classifiable in heading 4407 and the birch plywood was classifiable in heading 4412, when imported into Canada. After processing in Canada, the goods are classifiable in heading 4418. Each foreign material underwent the applicable change in tariff classification set out in §102.20, of the Customs Regulations.

Therefore, based on Section 102.11 (a) (3), Customs Regulations, the country of origin of the multilayer reclaimed hemlock flooring is Canada.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 181 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 181).

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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