April 17, 1991
TARIFF NO.: 4418.90.4090; 4421.90.7020
Mr. Byron Johnson McClary, Swift & Co., Inc.
P. O. Box 370 Blaine, WA 98230
RE: The tariff classification of stained siding and fence panels from Canada
Dear Mr. Johnson:
In your letter dated March 28, 1991, on behalf of the manufacturer, Mid-Island Exteriors Ltd., you requested a tariff classification ruling. The ruling was requested on stained Western red cedar siding and fence panels. A sample of a wood siding board was submitted. It measures approximately 5 inches wide and 3/4 inch thick and it is worked continuously along both edges. It is covered on the surface with a semi-transparent gray stain. The grain and texture of the wood show through the stain. The siding is available in many different semi-transparent colors. It is also available in a variety of solid color stains which give an opaque appearance similar to paint.
The fence panels are 8 feet wide and 4, 5, or 6 feet high. They consist of cedar boards assembled together. The panels may include a lattice board on top. The fence panels are pre- stained, either with a semi-transparent or a solid color stain.
According to information supplied by Mid-Island Exteriors, the stains which are manufactured by another company are made on a base of linseed oil with added fungicides. A brochure describing the stains emphasizes the beautiful effects possible by the variety of stains in many colors. Additionally, the brochure states that the stains also protect the wood by penetrating and strengthening the wood fibers on the surface. The stains are primarily for decorative purposes rather than necessary for the preservation of the wood. The general Explanatory Note to Chapter 44 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS) cited by you and which states "For the purposes of the Nomenclature, the classification of wood is not affected by treatment necessary for its preservation" does not apply in this case. The stained siding is excluded from classification under heading 4409, HTS, because it is treated beyond "planed, sanded or finger-jointed." Explanatory Note 44.09 (e) excludes "wood which has been worked beyond planing or sanding (e.g., veneered, polished, painted, varnished, bronzed or faced with metal leaf)."
The applicable subheading for the semi-transparent and solid color stained wood siding will be 4418.90.4090, HTS, which provides for other builders' joinery and carpentry of wood. The rate of duty will be 5.1 percent ad valorem.
The applicable subheading for the stained fence panels will be 4421.90.7020, HTS, which provides for other articles of wood:
assembled fence sections. The rate of duty will be free.
Goods classifiable under subheading 4418.90.4090, HTS, which have originated in the territory of Canada, will be entitled to a 3.5 percent rate of duty under the United States-Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA) upon compliance with all applicable regulations.
This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).
A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.
Jean F. Maguire Area Director New York Seaport