Mr. Roger Van House
GreenWood Products Co.
3801 Ocean Ranch Blvd., Suite 101
Oceanside, CA 92056

RE: The tariff classification of Wenge plywood flooring from Malaysia

Dear Mr. Van House:

In your letter dated January 27, 2009 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The ruling was requested on plywood flooring with various species of face plies. A representative sample of flooring with a face ply of Wenge (Millettia spp.), an African hardwood, was submitted.

The sample flooring is a laminated wood board, with tongued and grooved edges, measuring 14 mm thick x 5 ¼” wide. The bottom of the board is grooved across the width at 2 ¼” intervals. The board is composed of a total of ten plies of wood veneers, laminated together so that the grains of the plies run at angles to each other. The face ply is approximately 3 mm thick and is surface finished with a clear or transparent coating. The rest of the plies are each approximately from 0.3 mm to 1.5 mm thick. You state that the core of this product is made entirely from Baltic birch plywood, which is then topped with a face ply of one of various species.

You believe that the birch species of this product can be imported free of duty. However, you are uncertain as to the classification of this particular product.

Classification of goods in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI’s). GRI 1 provides that classification shall first be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

According to the terms of the headings and chapter notes, laminated wood flooring with a face ply under 4 mm in thickness is classifiable in heading 4412. The applicable subheading within heading 4412 depends on the specific construction of the product and the species of the face ply.

The applicable subheading for the plywood flooring with a face ply of Wenge, as represented by the sample, will be 4412.32.3125, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for: Plywood, veneered panels and similar laminated wood: Other plywood, consisting solely of sheets of wood, each ply not exceeding 6 mm in thickness: Other, with at least one outer ply of nonconiferous wood (other than a tropical wood specified in subheading note 1 of chapter 44): Not surface covered, or surface covered with a clear or transparent material which does not obscure the grain, texture or markings of the face ply: Other (than with a face ply of birch or certain other enumerated species): Wood flooring. The rate of duty will be 8 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

Your inquiry does not provide enough information for us to give a classification ruling on the plywood flooring with face plies of other wood species. Assuming that the products are otherwise identical in construction (dimensions, number of plies, type of plies, thickness of plies, species of plies, grain orientation of plies), your request for a classification ruling for these products should identify the species of wood of the face ply by common and botanical name. When this information is available, you may wish to consider resubmission of your request. Please limit each request to no more than five different species. If the construction is different, please submit a separate request for each different product along with a representative sample.

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.


Robert B. Swierupski
National Commodity Specialist Division