CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 950186 LTO
Mr. Dale G. Vander Yacht
Border Brokerage Co., Inc.
P.O. Box B
Blaine, Washington 98230
RE: Basic Bench; Village Bench; 9401.69.80; EN 94.01; NY 859387
Dear Mr. Vander Yacht:
This is in reference to a ruling issued to you on January
16, 1991 (NY 859387), by the Customs Area Director of the New
York Seaport, in response to your letter dated December 31, 1990,
on behalf of Frances Andrew Site Furnishings Ltd., Surrey, B.C.,
Canada. In NY 859387, you were advised of the tariff
classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United
States of three series of various models of benches and one
series of chair units. We have been asked by the Area Director
to reconsider the classification of two of the series of benches
ruled upon in NY 859387. Specifically, we have been asked to
reconsider the classification of the Series #1, Basic Bench, and
the Series #7, Village Bench.
The Series #1, Basic Bench, is composed of clear all-heart,
vertical grain finished Redwood. Its measurements are as
follows: height--2 feet, 8 inches (without back, 1 foot, 4 1/2
inches); width--1 foot, 11 inches; length--5 feet, 10 inches.
The Basic Bench has a metal frame.
The Series #7, Village Bench, is constructed of clear
select, finished cedar wood. Its measurements are as follows:
height--2 feet, 6 inches (without back, 1 foot, 5 inches);
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width--1 foot, 9 inches; length--5 feet, 10 inches. The Village
Bench's legs are constructed of metal which are bolted, using
through-bolts, to two metal strips that extend from under the
seat to the outside of the back portion of the bench.
What is the proper tariff classification for the Basic Bench
and the Village Bench?
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) to the HTSUSA
govern the classification of goods in the tariff schedule. GRI 1
states, in pertinent part:
...classification shall be determined according to the terms
of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes...
In NY 859387, dated January 16, 1991, the Basic Bench and the
Village Bench were classified under subheading 9401.69.80,
HTSUSA, which provides for "[s]eats . . . [o]ther seats, with
wooden frames . . . [o]ther . . . [o]ther." Additional
information provided by the importer subsequent to that ruling
has revealed that the Basic Bench has a metal frame and that the
Village Bench has legs that are constructed of metal which are
bolted to two metal strips that extend from under the seat to the
outside of the back portion of the bench. These legs and metal
strips constitute the frame of the bench.
Subheading 9401.79.00, HTSUSA, provides for "[s]eats . . .
[o]ther seats, with metal frames . . . [o]ther." The Harmonized
Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Note (EN)
94.01, pg. 1575, HTSUSA, states that this heading covers
"benches." Because both the Basic Bench and the Village Bench
have metal frames, they are classifiable under this subheading.
The Basic Bench and the Village Bench are classifiable under
subheading 9401.79.00, HTSUSA, which provides for "[s]eats . . .
[o]ther seats, with metal frames . . . [o]ther." The
corresponding rate of duty for articles in this subheading is 4%
ad valorem, or, when imported from Canada, 1.6% ad valorem (if
all of the requirements for the United States-Canada Free Trade
Agreement have been met).
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EFFECT ON OTHER RULINGS:
This notice to you should be considered a modification of NY
859387, dated January 16, 1991, under 18 CFR 177.9(d). It is not
to be applied retroactively to NY 859387 (19 CFR 177.9(d)(2))
and will not, therefore, affect past transactions for the
importation of the merchandise under that ruling. However, for
the purposes of future transactions involving merchandise of this
type, NY 859387 will not be valid precedent. We recognize that
pending transactions may be adversely affected by this
modification, in that current contracts for importations arriving
at a port subsequent to this decision will be classified pursuant
to it. If such a situation arises, you may, at your discretion,
notify this office and apply for relief from the binding effects
of this decision as may be warranted by the circumstances.
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division