Tariff Classification Advance Ruling
Solitaire European Laminate Flooring

Applicant

Mr. Paul McDonald
Taiga Building Products
800–4710 Kingsway
Burnaby, B.C.  V5H 4M2

Date of issuance of ruling: September 21, 2015

is in response to your request for an advance ruling, filed on your behalf by Kuehne + Nagle Ltd., on the tariff classification of Solitaire European Laminate Flooring, to be exported to Canada from Zary, Poland. The vendor is Kronopol SP.

TRS Number: 271522
Classification Number: 4411.14.00.92
Effective Date: September 21, 2015

Product Description

The products to be imported, for which samples were provided, are profiles of four (4) styles of laminate flooring. The only distinguishing characteristic between the four (4) styles is the visible layer which represents the look of different species of wood (Alexandrian Oak, Kamchatka Wood, Siberian Ash, and Caucasian Ash).

These laminate flooring panels are made from HDF (high density fibreboard) of a density of 850 kg/m3 (.85 g/cm3). The top or visible surface is covered with a two-layer laminate which consists of a decorative melamine film of 0.1 mm thickness plus an abrasion-resisting layer of 0.2 mm. The bottom of the flooring panels has a 0.1 mm vapour barrier film of plastic. In between is a dry process HDF of approximately 11.5 mm. The panels have a tongue and groove along one side and one end for fitting together using either a click system.

Analysis and Justification

The goods are excluded from heading 44.09 as wood flooring, as Heading Note (e) to 44.09 excludes wood which has been surface worked beyond planning or sanding, other than painting, staining or varnishing (i.e. veneered). In addition, HDF is a fibreboard, not wood.

The goods are also excluded from consideration as assembled flooring panels of heading 44.18. Although heading 44.18 allows for the use of fibreboard, the facing sheets must be of "solid wood, particle board, fibreboard, plywood, or metal". The goods at issue are faced with a melamine laminate.  

Explanatory Note (2) to heading 44.12 covers wood veneered to a base other than wood (e.g. plastics), provided the veneer provides the essential character. However, with the goods at issue, the veneer is a melamine and it is the HDF structure that provides the essential character.

Heading 44.11 includes fibreboard obtained by the "dry production process". The manufacturer's literature confirms the goods are made using the dry production process. The Explanatory Notes to heading 44.11 state that fibreboard obtained by the "dry production process" includes, in particular, medium density fibreboard (MDF). The Explanatory Notes further state, "Medium density fibreboard of a density exceeding 0.8 g/cm3 is sometimes also referred to by the trade as "high density fibreboard (HDF)"." In addition, the Explanatory Notes to heading 44.11 state that goods remain classified here whether or not they have been coated or covered (e.g., with textile fabric, plastics, paint, paper or metal) or submitted to any other operation, provided these operations do not give such products the essential character of articles of other headings. The fibreboard has been covered in a two-layer melamine film.

Decision

Section 10 of the Customs Tariff directs that classification of imported goods shall be determined in accordance with the General Rules for the Interpretation of the Harmonized System. Section 11 of the Customs Tariff states that in interpreting the headings and subheadings, regard shall be had to the World Customs Organization's (WCO) Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System.

General Interpretative Rule 1 (GIR 1) directs that titles of Sections, Chapters and sub-Chapters are provided for ease of reference only. For legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the heading and any relative Section and Chapter Notes. Similarly, General Interpretative Rule 6 (GIR 6) directs that classification shall be determined according to the terms of those subheadings and any related Subheading Notes.

The Solitaire European Laminate Flooring is classified as laminate flooring, of a thickness exceeding 9 mm, under 4411.14.00.92 by GIR 1 and 6.

Legislative/Administrative References

This ruling has been issued under paragraph 43.1(1)(c) of the Customs Act and will be honoured by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for future importations of the goods specified, provided the material facts and circumstances remain as originally presented; all conditions in the ruling have been met; the ruling has not been modified, revoked, revised, or cancelled; and the Customs Tariff legislation has not changed. Should there be a change in the material facts or circumstances pertaining to the goods, you must notify the CBSA as soon as possible. You may request that the advance ruling be modified or revoked as of the date of the change.

Importers should quote the advance ruling number at the time of importation in either the description field of the B3 entry document or on the Canada Customs Invoice. Exporters or producers should quote the advance ruling number on the Certificate of Origin or commercial invoice accompanying the goods.

Should you disagree with this advance ruling, you may file a dispute notice under subsection 60(2) of the Customs Act within 90 days of the date of issuance. Please see the procedures outlined in Appendix C of the CBSA's Memorandum D11-11-3, Advance Rulings for Tariff Classification.

Please be advised that the goods covered by this advance ruling are provided for in a specific tariff provision that is considered 'reason to believe' for the purposes of section 32.2 of the Customs Act and the CBSA's Administrative Monetary Penalty System, described in Memorandum D22-1-1. In the event that you have been classifying these goods elsewhere in the tariff, you are obligated to self-correct. See Memorandum D11-6-6 for information on self-correction/self-adjustment.

All Memoranda referenced in this letter may be accessed on the CBSA website.

Consent to the Public Release of the Advance Ruling

As per your consent statement, we will release this advance ruling to the public, in both official languages, in accordance with the procedures described in Memorandum D11-11-3. The ruling will be published on the CBSA website in 30 days.

CBSA Contact

Mark Grant
Manager, Tariff Policy Unit 'B'
Trade Policy Division
Headquarters, Ottawa

File Number

C-2015-006511

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