Ms. Stefani Paolucci
Delmar International (NY) Inc.
100 Colvin Woods Parkway, Suite 500
Tonawanda, NY 14150
RE: The tariff classification of cellulose fiber-cement flooring from China.
Dear Ms. Paolucci:
In your letter dated September 13, 2021, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client, Quality Craft Industries Inc.
The merchandise under consideration is referred to as “Quartz Core Flooring.” A sample was submitted with your ruling request and will be retained by this office.
From the information you provided, the Quartz Core Flooring measures approximately 1210 millimeters long by 193 millimeters wide by 6.5 millimeters, 8 millimeters, or 10 millimeters in thickness. The core layer, which measures 6.2 millimeters, 7.8 millimeters, or 9.8 millimeters thick depending on the overall depth of the board, is faced with .15-millimeter-thick urethane-coated wood grain paper, and is backed with a .15-millimeter-thick foam layer. The core layer consists of Portland cement with smaller amounts of slaked lime, quartz sand, and paper fiber. You state that these components are evenly mixed throughout the body of the core, and that the purpose of the paper fiber is to strengthen the cement. The Quartz Core Flooring is designed to be used as flooring in kitchens, bathrooms, and basements.
The Quartz Core Flooring is comprised of different materials that are classifiable in different headings. Classification of merchandise under the HTSUS is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs) taken in order. GRI 3(b) of the HTSUS provides, in relevant part, that composite goods which cannot be classified by reference to GRI 3(a) shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character. The cellulose fiber-cement component provides the essential character of the Quartz Core Flooring.
In your ruling request you suggest classification of the Quartz Core Flooring in 6815.99.4070, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), as other articles of stone or other mineral substances not elsewhere specified or included. However, as the essential character of the Quartz Core Flooring is imparted by the cellulose fiber-cement component, it is more specifically provided for elsewhere in the tariff.
The applicable subheading for the Quartz Core Flooring will be 6811.82.0000, Harmonized HTSUS, which provides for “Articles of asbestos-cement, of cellulose fiber-cement or the like: Not containing asbestos: Other sheets, panels, tiles and similar articles.” The general rate of duty will be Free.
Pursuant to U.S. Note 20 to Subchapter III, Chapter 99, HTSUS, products of China classified under subheading 6811.82.0000, 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 6811.82.0000, 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, including information on exclusions and their effective dates, 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 Nicole Sullivan at [email protected].
Steven A. Mack
National Commodity Specialist Division