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N011396
June 15, 2007
CLA-2-44:RR:NC:2:230
CATEGORY: Classification
TARIFF NO.: 4418.72.9000; 4418.79.0000; 4418.90.4690
Ms. Naiyana McCaffrey Unique Fusion, Inc.

5320 N. Sheridan Rd., Suite 2209 Chicago, IL 60640
RE:     The tariff classification of bamboo flooring from China
Dear Ms. McCaffrey:

     In your letter, which was received on May 17, 2007, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

     The ruling was requested on various types of bamboo, wood and cork flooring. Representative samples of nine different types of flooring were submitted. This ruling addresses the five types of bamboo flooring.

     The "Solid Bamboo Horizontal" (not a "solid" piece of bamboo) consists of three layers of bamboo strips laminated together with the grains of all the layers running in the same direction. Each layer is approximately 5 mm thick and consists of bamboo strips (each approximately 5 mm thick x 20 mm wide) glued together on their edges. The strips may be natural in color or carbonized. The dimensions of the flooring, in the condition it will be imported in, are 960 mm x 96 mm x 15 mm. The edges and ends are tongued and grooved and the surface is finished with seven coats of sealers and anti-scratch coatings.
     The "Solid Bamboo Vertical" (not a "solid" piece of bamboo) consists of multiple strips of bamboo (each approximately 14 mm wide x 5 mm thick) laminated together on their wide surfaces. The strips may be natural in color or carbonized. The dimensions of the flooring, in the condition it will be imported in, are 960 mm x 96 mm x 15 mm. The edges and ends are tongued and grooved and the surface is finished with seven coats of sealers and anti-scratch coatings.      
Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUS) is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI), taken in order. GRI 1 requires that classification be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Where goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, the remaining GRI will be applied, in the order of their appearance.

     Additional U.S. Note 4 (b) of Chapter 44, HTSUS, (a chapter note added in 2007) states that multilayer assembled flooring panels having a face ply 4 mm or more in thickness are included in heading 4418.

     The applicable subheading for the "Solid Bamboo Horizontal," consisting of a multilayer flooring panel having a face ply of 4 mm or more in thickness, will be 4418.72.9000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for builders’ joinery and carpentry of wood: other multilayer assembled flooring panels. The rate of duty will be 8 percent ad valorem.

     The applicable subheading for the "Solid Bamboo Vertical," consisting of a flooring panel, composed of glued vertical strips of bamboo, not having a multilayer construction, will be 4418.79.0000, HTSUS, which provides for builders’ joinery and carpentry of wood: other assembled flooring panels. The rate of duty will be 3.2 percent ad valorem.

     The "Engineered Bamboo Horizontal – With Seven Plies of Poplar/Birch," consists of a multilayer (8 layers) flooring panel with a 4 mm to 5 mm thick face layer of edge-glued strips of bamboo. The bamboo strips may be natural or carbonized. Beneath the face layer are seven plies of 1 mm to 2 mm thick veneers of alternating species of poplar and birch. The grains of the layers run at angles to each other. The flooring will be imported in dimensions of 1200 mm x 127 mm x 14 mm. The edges and ends of the flooring are tongued and grooved with a "click-lock" feature. The surface is finished with seven coats of sealers and anti-scratch coatings.

     The "Engineered Bamboo Horizontal – With a Core of Poplar Lumber Strips," consists of a multilayer (3 layers) flooring panel with a 4 mm thick face layer of edge-glued strips of bamboo. The bamboo strips may be natural or carbonized. The face layer is laminated to a core of poplar lumber strips approximately 8 mm thick. The back layer consists of a 2 mm thick veneer of wood (assumed to be poplar). The layers are laminated together so that their grains run at angles to each other. The flooring will be imported in dimensions of 1900 mm x 190 mm x 14 mm. The edges and ends of the flooring are tongued and grooved with a "click-lock" feature. The surface is finished with seven coats of sealers and anti-scratch coatings.

     The applicable subheading for both types of "Engineered Bamboo Horizontal," described above, consisting of multilayer flooring panels having a face ply of 4 mm or more in thickness, will be 4418.72.9000, HTSUS, which provides for builders’ joinery and carpentry of wood: other multilayer assembled flooring panels. The rate of duty will be 8 percent ad valorem.
     The "Bamboo Strand Woven" consists of a board composed of agglomerated bamboo strands. Long strands (shredded strips) of bamboo, which may be natural or carbonized, are combined with resin and pressed together under high heat and pressure. The board does not consist of glued or laminated, assembled strips or layers of bamboo. The agglomerated bamboo flooring board is tongued and grooved on the edges and is surface finished with sealers and anti-scratch coatings. It will be imported in dimensions of 915 mm x 96 mm x 15 mm.

     The applicable subheading for the "Bamboo Strand Woven" flooring, described above, will be 4418.90.4690, HTSUS, which provides for other builders’ joinery and carpentry of wood. The 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/.

     Your inquiry does not provide enough information for us to give a classification ruling for the other flooring types. Your request for a ruling for the engineered wood flooring should include the identity of the species of the back ply. In addition, please clarify how the different thicknesses of the wear layers (2 mm, 3 mm and 4 mm) for each engineered wood flooring product are distinguished when bought and sold. Your request for a ruling for the cork flooring and cork wall tiles should include a detailed description of the construction of the products. In addition, please describe the edges and ends of the products in the condition they will be imported in. When this information is available, you may wish to resubmit your ruling request for these products. Please submit separate ruling requests for different classes of merchandise.
     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 Paul Garretto at 646-733-3035.

     The engineered bamboo flooring with the "click-lock" tongue and grooves may be subject to an ITC exclusion order dealing with certain laminated floor panels. For further information on admissibility please contact your local Customs (CBP) office prior to importation of the goods. This ruling applies to the classification of the merchandise and not to its admissibility under the terms of the exclusion order.

                              Sincerely,
                              Robert B. Swierupski                               Director,                               National Commodity                               Specialist Division


 
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