Tuttle Law

A Customs & Int'l. Trade Law Firm

Classification Challenge Of Engineered Hardwood Flooring Continues In The CIT

November 22, 2010

In a previous newsletter, we discussed a court action being litigated in the U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT) that is challenging U.S. Customs’ position on the tariff classification of certain engineered hardwood flooring. These products are multilayered flooring strips that have a protective coating and are ready for installation as flooring at the time of importation. Customs currently classifies these products as “plywood” at the duty rate of 8.0%, based upon a court decision issued about three years ago by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) which we believe was erroneously decided.

The goal of the present litigation is to demonstrate that these types of flooring products are not “plywood” within any definition of plywood. The current lawsuit seeks to re-classify these types of flooring under the duty free provision for other veneered panels and similar laminated wood. As of this writing no trial date has been set. 

Pending the outcome of the current litigation, importers of engineered wood flooring should take steps to protect their rights to receive refunds in the event that there is a favorable outcome to this litigation. Specifically, protests need to be filed on the applicable entries, and ,if denied, court actions need to be filed to keep the protests alive. Importers considering filing protests may want to consult with a law firm that has customs expertise. 

If you have any questions about these or other customs matters, please contact Stephen Spraitzar at (415) 288-0427 or at steve.spraitzar@tuttlelaw.com.



Stephen Spraitzar is an attorney with the Law Offices of George R. Tuttle in San Francisco.

The information in this article is general in nature, and is not intended to constitute legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship with respect to any event or occurrence, and may not be considered as such.

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