Classification Mistakes to Avoid ... Classification Mistakes to Avoid Laurel Duvall, National Import

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Transcript of Classification Mistakes to Avoid ... Classification Mistakes to Avoid Laurel Duvall, National Import

  • Classification Mistakes to Avoid Laurel Duvall, National Import Specialist 130, Customs & Border Protection

    IWPA Annual Conference

    April 2, 2020

    Not for Duplication

  • 2

    Disclaimer The material in this presentation is provided for guidance and general information purposes only. Reliance on this information alone may not be considered reasonable care. Because many complicated factors can be involved in Customs issues, an importer may wish to obtain a ruling under the Regulations of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 19 C.F.R. Part 177, or may wish to obtain advice from an expert who specializes in Customs matters, for example, a licensed Customs Broker, attorney or consultant.

    Not for Duplication

  • 3Not for Duplication

    Classification Errors

    Errors can be common, but can also be avoided

    Understanding which tariff numbers are problems and why can help improve compliance

    © Matt Groening

  • 4Not for Duplication

    Binding Classification Rulings

    Getting a binding classification ruling for your product is ALWAYS the best way to avoid misclassification.

    The ruling is binding on both the importer and the agency.

  • 5Not for Duplication

    Biggest Classification Mistake


    While this may be tempting, it can result in a huge bill, with interest, and penalty action (not to mention attorney fees). IT IS ILLEGAL.

  • 6

    Heading 4409 Wood continuously shaped

    • Wood of this heading must consist of a single, solid piece of wood (may be end-jointed to make longer). Any wood that consists of multiple pieces of wood laminated together (edge-to-edge, superimposed) is not classifiable in this heading.

    • Wood can only be unfinished, painted, stained, or varnished.

    Not for Duplication

  • 7Not for Duplication

    Goods in Heading 4409

    Continously shaped SOLID wood NY 855719, etc.

  • 8

    Goods NOT in Heading 4409 Assemblies of wood are precluded. Classify based on identity.

    Door jambs and crown moldings, for example, are recognizable articles used in the construction of a building, 4418.

    Not for Duplication

    SEAMS Indicate wood that is not solid.

    NY M82325, etc.

  • 9

    Goods NOT in Heading 4409

    Not for Duplication

    Molded wood, like picture frame moldings – with seams and/or coatings (other than paint, stain, and varnish) – are precluded from classification in 4409.

    NY J82269, etc. NY N052963, etc.

  • 10

    Tongue and groove (continuous shaping) on ends, 3.2% duty NY N257831, etc.

    Straight-cut ends (unfinished, painted, stained, or varnished only) NY N004940,etc

    Not for Duplication

    4409 Wood Flooring

    Coated with UV coating, acrylic, PU, etc., 4418 NY K86092, etc.

    Far more likely product being imported

  • 11

    Subheading 4409.21 is IMPOSSIBLE

    Goods must be solid wood to be classifiable in 4409. Bamboo components cannot be made from solid wood.

    Not for Duplication

    Horizontal flooring (face ≥ 4mm thick 4418.73.6000

    Vertical flooring 4418.73.9000

    “Engineered” flooring, face

  • 12

    4409 Wood Flooring Do not classify end-matched wood flooring in 4409.10.2000, 4409.22.2500, and 4409.29.26. These classifications provide only for flooring that is straight cut on its ends.

    Not for Duplication

    “Wood continuously shaped along its ends” describes flooring that is T&G on its ends. “Other” does not.

  • 13Not for Duplication

    Fiberboard flooring

    Do not confuse the terms “laminate flooring” – not a legal tariff term – and “similar laminated wood” in heading 4412. “Laminate flooring”, i.e. solid fiberboard flooring is classifiable in heading 4411. 4412.99.5105 is not correct for this merchandise. Fiberboard flooring should be classified in 4411.12.2000, 4411.13.2000, or 4411.14.2000, depending on thickness:

    NOT 4412

    NY N238576

  • 14Not for Duplication

    Fiberboard Moldings

    Fiberboard (MDF) flooring moldings ( or “accessories”) are not classified as flooring. They are usually classified in 4411.12.9010, 4411.13.9010, or 4412.14.9010.


    NY N067510

  • 15

    Tileboard 4411

    Not for Duplication

    Fiberboard “Laminate” flooring is NOT classifiable as “Tileboard” (e.g., 4411.92.3000). Tileboard is a heavily coated fiberboard that imitates tile and is usually waterproof. Witex USA Inc. v. U.S.


  • 16

    Multilayer wood flooring, face≥4mm thick

    Not for Duplication

    Additional US Note 5(b)

    If your wood flooring panel is multilayer and the face ply is 4mm or more in thickness, it is classifiable in heading 4418.

    ≥4mm thick

  • 17

    4412 Parana Pine Plywood

    Do not classify your plywood as having a face ply of Parana pine (Araucaria angustifolia). This product does not currently exist in the plywood market today. There is also a ban on export of these logs from Brazil. They are not harvested in China. There should be no goods classified in 4412.39.1000, 4412.94.6000, or 4412.99.6000

    The correct classification for Radiata pine plywood (with both outer plies of coniferous wood) is 4412.39.4061, .4062, or .4069. NY N295153

    Not for Duplication

  • 18

    Plywood containing a layer of particle board

    Do not use HTSUS numbers 4412.99.0600 and 4412.99.5701. It is very unlikely any panels would be classified here. Panels with a layer of fiberboard are not classifiable here; fiberboard and particleboard are not the same thing.

    Not for Duplication

  • 19Not for Duplication

    Densified Wood 4413

    Densified wood is defined in Note 2 to Chapter 44:

    DO NOT classify plywood as “Densified wood” in 4413.00.0000. The wood is chemically or physically treated to increase density and improve attributes. The wood is deeply impregnated with thermosetting plastics or molten metal and/or extreme compression. The density is very high, as much as 1.4 g/cm3 for compression and over 3.5 g/cm3 for metallized.

  • 20

    Formwork for Concrete Constructional Work

    Do not classify phenolic film- faced plywood in 4418.40.0000, “Formwork (shuttering) for concrete constructional work.

    4418 requires that goods classified therein be recognizable articles used in the construction of a building.

    Not for Duplication

    Explanatory Notes require that “Formwork” be assembled. ENs specifically state “plywood panels, even if surface treated for the purposes of concrete shuttering, are classified in heading 44.12.” This product is classified in 4412.33.5700. NY N291474


  • 21

    Bamboo Moldings

    Bamboo moldings are not classifiable in 4409.21. They are made of multiple laminated pieces of bamboo, or agglomerated strands. The are classifiable under 4418.91.9095.

    Not for Duplication

    NY N094275

  • 22Not for Duplication

    Bamboo Floors DO NOT classify vertical, strand, or plywood flooring in 4418.73.6000. Only “horizontal” bamboo flooring should be classified in this subheading.

    “Horizontal” is multilayer bamboo with unidirectional grain (parallel grains each layer)

    Vertical 4418.73.9000

    Engineered 4412.10.0500 Or 4418.73.7000

    Strand or “strand woven” 4418.91.9005

    HORIZONTAL 4418.73.6000

    VERTICAL 4418.73.9000

    ENGINEERED 4412.10.0500

    STRAND 4418.91.9005

    NY N011396, N287566

  • 23

    Edge-glued Lumber Edge-glued lumber is only LUMBER, i.e., a non-dedicated building material. 4421.99.9400

    Not for Duplication

    Edge-glued lumber. Square cut, no dedicated use

    Profiled, edge-glued wood is NOT edge-glued lumber



    NY N283740

    NY N309540

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