CLA-2-94:OT:RR:NC:N4:433

J. Epstein
W.N. Epstein & Co., Inc.
4477 Woodson Road
St. Louis, Missouri 63134

RE: The tariff classification of seats and other furniture from China. Dear Mr. Epstein:

In your letter dated June 15, 2020, you requested a tariff classification on behalf of Winston Furniture Company of Alabama. In lieu of samples, illustrative literature and product descriptions were provided.

Item 1, the “LaPalma Table,” is an outdoor, square shaped, corner coffee table constructed of an aluminum metal frame that is wrapped on all four sides with interlacing polyethylene (PE) imitation rattan wicker. The interlacing wicker bound to the metal frame also forms the entire tabletop surface.

Item 2, the “Hampton Table,” is an outdoor, 3-post, round coffee table constructed of an aluminum metal frame. The aluminum metal forms the entire round tabletop surface. The exposed aluminum has been formed and surface treated to look like stained wood. Below the tabletop is a second-tier round shelf that is constructed of interlacing PE imitation rattan wicker. The table dimensions are 40” in diameter and 18.25” in height.

Item 3, the “Hampton Middle Chair,” is an outdoor armless chair for the seating of a single individual. The seat base, the seat backrest, and the seat legs comprising the frame are constructed of aluminum metal. Interlacing PE imitation rattan wicker covers the metal frame forming the seat base and the seat backrest. The seat dimensions are 24.75” in width, 35” in depth, and 36.25” in height. The seat contains a removable textile covered cushion seat base and a removable textile covered cushion seat backrest.

Item 4, the “Hampton Ottoman,” is an outdoor seat whose seat base and legs comprising the frame are constructed of aluminum metal. Interlacing PE imitation rattan wicker covers the metal frame. The ottoman dimensions are 24” in width, 20” in depth, and 18” in height. The ottoman contains a removable textile covered cushion seat base.

Item 5, the “San Lazzaro Chair,” is an outdoor chair with armrests for the seating of a single individual. The seat base, the seat backrest, and the seat legs comprising the frame are constructed of aluminum metal. Interlacing PE imitation rattan wicker covers the metal frame forming the seat base and the seat backrest. The seat contains a removable textile covered cushion seat base and a removable textile covered cushion seat backrest.

You state that items 1 thru 5 will be sold individually. Further, you request classification of items 1 and 2 in subheading 9403.20.0050, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, (HTSUS), classification of items 3, 4, and 5 in subheading 9401.79.0011, (HTSUS), and confirmation that the articles are not subject to China Section 301 duties. This office agrees in part.

The Explanatory Notes (ENs) to the HTSUS constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level.

Item 1, the “LaPalma Table,” is a composite good comprised of different components (metal, plastic). The table frame and legs are constructed of aluminum metal. The frame surround and tabletop surface are constructed of imitation plastic wicker. The flat leveled tabletop surface allows for the placement of objects and is the component that permits the article to function as a table. The essential character of item 1 as a whole is imparted by the plastic component.

Item 2, the “Hampton Table,” is a composite good comprised of different components (metal, plastic). The table’s frame, 3-post legs, and the tabletop surface are constructed of aluminum. The second-tier shelf surface is constructed of imitation plastic wicker. Both the table top and the shelf have flat leveled surfaces allowing for the placement of objects. However, the tabletop is greater in terms of bulk, surface area, and is the component that permits the article to function as a table. The essential character of item 2 as a whole is imparted by the metal component.

Item 3, the “Hampton Middle Chair,” is specifically identified as being “Other seats, with metal frames” whose seat base, seat backrest, and legs are comprised of a frame constructed of metal and having textile covered cushions or textile seating or backing material.

Item 4, the “Hampton Ottoman,” is specifically identified as being “Other seats, with metal frames” whose seat base and legs are comprised of a frame constructed of metal and having textile covered cushions or textile seating or backing material.

Item 5, the “San Lazzaro Chair,” is specifically identified as being “Other seats, with metal frames” whose seat base, seat backrest, and legs are comprised of a frame constructed of metal and having textile covered cushions or textile seating or backing material.

The applicable subheading for item 1 if made of reinforced or laminated plastic, will be 9403.70.4015, HTSUS, which provides for “Other furniture and parts thereof: Furniture of plastics: Of reinforced or laminated plastics: Other household.” The rate of duty will be free. The applicable subheading for item 1 if not made of reinforced or laminated plastic, will be 9403.70.8015, HTSUS, which provides for “Other furniture and parts thereof: Furniture of plastics: Other: Other household.” The rate of duty will be free.

The applicable subheading for item 2 will be 9403.20.0050, HTSUS, which provides for “Other furniture and parts thereof: Other metal furniture: Household: Other: Other.” The rate of duty will be free.

The applicable subheading for items 3, 4, and 5 will be 9401.79.0011, HTSUS, which provides for “Seats (Other than those covered by heading 9402), whether or not convertible into beds, and parts thereof: Other seats, with metal frames: Other: Other: Outdoor: With textile covered cushions or textile seating or backing material: Household.” The rate of duty will be free.

Trade Remedy

Pursuant to U.S. Note 20 to Subchapter III, Chapter 99, HTSUS, products of China classified under subheading 9403.20.0050 HTSUS, unless specifically excluded, are subject to an additional 25 percent ad valorem rate of duty.  At the time of importation, you must report the Chapter 99 subheading, i.e., 9903.88.03, in addition to subheading 9403.20.0050 HTSUS, listed above.

Products of China classified under subheading 9403.70.4015 or 9403.70.8015 HTSUS, unless specifically excluded, are subject to an additional 25 percent ad valorem rate of duty.  At the time of importation, you must report the Chapter 99 subheading, i.e., 9903.88.04, in addition to subheading 9403.70.4015 or 9403.70.8015 HTSUS, listed above.

Exclusions

Products of China classified under subheading 9401.79.0011 HTSUS, unless specifically excluded, are subject to the additional 25 percent ad valorem rate of duty.  See U.S. Note 20 to Subchapter III, Chapter 99, HTSUS. 

With regard to the applicability of exclusions from the additional duties pursuant to Section XXII, Chapter 99, Subchapter III U.S. Note 20(g), HTSUS, we note the exclusions annotated in the May 8, 2020 Federal Register are available for any product that meets the description in the Annex, regardless of whether the importer filed an exclusion request. Section XXII, Chapter 99, Subchapter III U.S. Note 20(yy) and Annex Enumeration (134), HTSUS, states: (yy) The U.S. Trade Representative determined to establish a process by which particular products classified in heading 9903.88.03 and provided for in U.S. notes 20(e) and 20(f) to this subchapter could be excluded from the additional duties imposed by heading 9903.88.03, and by which particular products classified in heading 9903.88.04 and provided for in U.S. note 20(g) to this subchapter could be excluded from the additional duties imposed by heading 9903.88.04. Pursuant to the product exclusion process, the U.S. Trade Representative has determined that the additional duties provided for in heading 9903.88.03 or in heading 9903.88.04 shall not apply to the following particular products, which are provided for in the enumerated statistical reporting number: (134) Outdoor household seats with aluminum frames covered in polyethylene rattan wicker, with textile covered cushions (described in statistical reporting number 9401.79.0011).

Items 3, 4, and 5 falls under the scope of statistical reporting number (134) above. At the time of importation, you must report the Chapter 99 subheading, i.e., 9903.88.46, in addition to subheading 9401.79.0011, HTSUS, listed above.

The HTSUS is subject to periodic amendment so you should exercise reasonable care in monitoring the status of goods covered by the Note cited above and the applicable Chapter 99 subheading.  For background information regarding the trade remedy initiated pursuant to Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, you may refer to the relevant parts of the USTR and CBP websites, which are available at https://ustr.gov/issue-areas/enforcement/section-301-investigations/tariff-actions and https://www.cbp.gov/trade/remedies/301-certain-products-china, respectively.

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 Dharmendra Lilia at [email protected]

Sincerely,

Steven A. Mack
Director
National Commodity Specialist Division