Tim Davis, Sales Associate
Alliance Sales and Marketing
2250 Bush Drive
Mckinney, TX 75070
RE: The tariff classification of five furniture pieces from China.
Dear Mr. Davis:
In your letter dated December 9, 2009, you requested a tariff classification ruling.
Item number A229-001A is a three drawer furniture piece. The frame of the three drawer unit is made of wood, and does not have sides or back panels. Each drawer is hand woven from water hyacinth, and fits into the wooden frame. The top of the drawer unit is solid wood. This item measures 16.5 inches in length, 15.75 inches in width, and 27.5 inches in height.
Item number A229-002 is a four drawer furniture piece. The frame of the four drawer unit is made of wood, and does not have sides or back panels. Each drawer is constructed from woven water hyacinth, and fits into the wooden frame. The top of the drawer unit is solid wood. This item measures 18 inches in length, 9 inches in width, and 25.5 inches in height.
Item number A229-004 is a six drawer furniture piece. The frame of the six drawer unit is made of wood, and does not have sides or back panels. Each drawer is hand woven from seagrass and fits into the wooden frame. The top of the drawer unit is solid wood. This item measures 24.8 inches in length, 12.6 inches in width, and 29.5 inches in height.
Item number A229-005 is a four shelf furniture piece. The frame of the four shelf unit is made of wood, and the shelving is constructed from woven seagrass. This item measures 13 inches in length, 13 inches in width, and 32 inches in height.
A photo of item number A229-006 appears to be a bench or table. The frame of the unit is made of wood, while the top surface is made from hand woven seagrass. This item measures 18 inches in length, 12 inches in width, and 12.5 inches in height.
In response to your inquiry concerning the classification of these items, we must consider the definition and meaning of bedroom furniture. The term "bedroom furniture” is not defined in the text of the HTSUS, nor the Explanatory Notes to the HTSUS. When terms are not defined, they are construed in accordance with their common and commercial meaning – Nippon Kogasku (USA), Inc. v. United States, 69 CCPA 89, 673 F.2d 380 (1982). Common and commercial meaning may be determined by consulting dictionaries, lexicons, scientific authorities and other reliable sources. C.J. Tower & Sons v. United States, 69 CCPA 128, 673 F.2d 1268 (1982).
Dictionary and encyclopedia meanings define “bedroom furniture” as furniture intended for use in the bedroom. Further elaboration indicates that bedroom furniture, sometimes called a bedroom set or bedroom suite consists of a group of furniture in a bedroom or sleeping quarters; these groupings include, but are not limited to, beds; wardrobes; dressers (also known as a chest of drawers usually placed in a bedroom); chests; nightstands; armoires; vanities; trunks; and mirrors. Door Chests and Armoires can also have shelves for television receivers and other entertainment electronics.
It therefore follows that key to defining “bedroom furniture” for tariff purposes is not only the intent of the item, but also, the primary use (emphasis added) of the item at time of import to be used in the bedroom. See New York Ruling, N069325 dated August 6, 2009 and N080635 dated November 5, 2009, both of which concluded that the primary use of the furniture pieces were for the bedroom, even though those pieces could be placed in settings other than in the bedroom.
Items, A229-001A and A229-004, are drawer units that appear to be identical to the three and six drawer units of New York Ruling, N084602 dated December 8, 2009. Item A229-002 is a four drawer unit similar to item A229-004, the six drawer unit, except in a different configuration and sizing of the drawers. All of these drawer units are akin to dressers and chests with drawers – see New York Rulings, N063740 dated June 12, 2009 and N084602 dated December 8, 2009. These items meet the definition for wooden furniture of a kind used in the bedroom.
Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods shall be determined according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative Section or Chapter Notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRIs, 2 through 6, may then be applied in order.
GRI 3(b), provides that composite goods (goods made up of different components which are attached to each other to form a practically inseparable whole or separable components provided these components are adapted to one another and are mutually complementary and that together they form a whole which would not normally be offered for sale in separate parts) are to be classified according to the component that gives the good its essential character.
The Explanatory Notes (ENs) to the HTSUS, specifically “EN VIII to GRI 3(b) of the HTSUS, explains that the factors which determine essential character will vary as between different kinds of goods. It may, for example, be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of the constituent material in relation to the use of the goods."
By application of GRI 3(b), the three furniture pieces with drawers are composite goods consisting of wood frames and basket drawers. The essential character of each, of the drawer units, is imparted by the wood frames, as the frames provide the structure for the furniture pieces.
For items, A229-005 and A229-006, we cannot make a determination of classification at this time without samples and marketing literature as to the primary use or uses of these pieces.
The applicable subheading for the three drawer units, will be 9403.50.9080, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for “Other furniture and parts thereof: Wooden furniture of a kind used in the bedroom: 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/.
The merchandise in question may be subject to antidumping duties or countervailing duties. Written decisions regarding the scope of AD/CVD orders are issued by the Import Administration in the Department of Commerce and are separate from tariff classification and origin rulings issued by Customs and Border Protection. You can contact them at http://www.trade.gov/ia/ (click on “Contact Us”). For your information, you can view a list of current AD/CVD cases at the United States International Trade Commission website at http://www.usitc.gov (click on “Antidumping and countervailing duty investigations”), and you can search AD/CVD deposit and liquidation messages using the AD/CVD Search tool at http://www.cbp.gov (click on “Import” and “AD/CVD”).
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 Neil H. Levy at (646) 733-3036.
Robert B. Swierupski
National Commodity Specialist Division