Mr. Kim Tao
Room 1902, Easey Commercial Building
253-261 Hennessy Road
Wanchai, HONG KONG
RE: The tariff classification and country of origin of truck bed flooring panels
Dear Mr. Tao:
In your letter, dated October 16, 2022, you requested binding tariff classification and country of origin rulings for wood truck bed flooring panels. Product information and photos were provided for our review.
The request concerns red oak, edge-glued, truck bed flooring panels. The panels measure approximately 1.06m to 15.9m in length, 103mm to 350mm in width, and 28mm to 35mm in thickness. The panels are constructed of edge-glued red oak wood (a nonconiferous wood) and are continuously shaped along their edges with a shiplap profile. The backs of the panels will be coated with a black hot-melt polyurethane coating, while the panel faces will be coated with a clear, UV-cured protective coating.
The applicable subheading for the red oak, edge-glued, truck bed flooring panels will be 4421.99.9880, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for Other articles of wood: Other: Other: Other: Other: Other. The rate of duty will be 3.3 percent ad valorem.
You also requested a country of origin determination for the purposes of duty. In your letter, you describe a scenario wherein rough, red oak, edge-glued boards from China are sent to Canada, where they will be planed, sanded, profiled, coated, finished, and packaged.
The marking statute, section 304, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), provides that, unless excepted, every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the U.S. shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly and permanently as the nature of the article (or its container) will permit, in such a manner as to indicate to the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. the English name of the country of origin of the article.
Section 134.1(b) of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.1(b)) provides that the "[c]ountry of origin" means the country of manufacture, production or growth of any article of foreign origin entering the United States. Further work or material added to an article in another country must effect a substantial transformation in order to render such other country the "country of origin" within the meaning of Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 134). Substantial transformation requires that "[t]here must be a transformation; a new and different article must emerge, ‘having distinctive name, character, or use.’" Anheuser-Busch Brewing Association v. United States, 207 U.S. 556, 28 S. Ct 204 (1908).
In the instant case, the manufacturing of truck bed flooring panels from edge-glued lumber constitutes a substantial transformation. Edge-glued lumber from China is subjected to multiple manufacturing processes in Canada. Once the lumber has undergone this manufacturing it is no longer merely lumber; it is truck bed flooring. Because of this substantial transformation, Canada is the country of origin for duty purposes. Please note that this ruling does not address applicability of the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
While, in your letter, you appear to be requesting a country of origin determination for duty purposes, we note that country of origin determinations for marking purposes for goods manufactured in Canada are made by different rules and may vary from this determination. If you would like to request a determination of country of origin for marking purposes, please submit an additional request and a separate ruling will be issued.
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 the World Wide Web at https://hts.usitc.gov/current.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 Charlene Miller at [email protected].Sincerely,
Steven A. Mack
National Commodity Specialist Division