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Re-Classifying Softwood Lumber
Products to
Possibly Exclude Them
From the AD and CVD Orders

July 1, 2003

Importers and exporters of softwood lumber products should be aware of a possible avenue of excluding merchandise from the softwood lumber antidumping (AD) and countervailing (CVD) duty orders. This would involve re-classifying the imported merchandise under a different tariff classification in order to exclude it from the scope of the AD and CVD orders.

This approach requires reviewing whether the imported product is properly classifiable under one of the HTS tariff headings that are listed in the AD and CVD orders. If the merchandise can be re-classified to a tariff provision that is not listed in the orders, then the merchandise might be excluded from the assessment of AD and CVD duties. However, it is recommended that a binding ruling be obtained from Customs to confirm any reclassification of an imported softwood lumber product.

For example, if the imported item is a used softwood lumber product and is being classified under HTS heading 4407.10, it may be possible to reclassify the product under HTSUS 4401.30.40 as wood, waste and scrap. HTS 4401.30.40 is not one of the tariff provisions listed in the AD and CVD orders as being subject to the orders. A Customs ruling holding that the softwood lumber product in issue is classifiable under HTSUS 4401.30.40 could very well mean that the product is excluded from the orders. However, this would have to be confirmed with Commerce even if a favorable ruling is obtain from Customs.

Within the last year, certain importers of used railroad ties filed a brief with Commerce to exclude the ties from the AD and CVD orders, alleging that the ties were probably classifiable under HTSUS 4401.30.40. Commerce didn’t deny this claimed classification, but suggested that the importer apply for a ruling with Customs. Thus, Commerce left the door open for possible exclusion.

The Law Offices of George R. Tuttle, PC, specialize in the area of antidumping, customs, and international trade law. If you have any questions regarding this newsletter, please email Steve Spraitzar at or contact him by telephone at (415) 288-0427.  You may also contact George R. Tuttle at or by phone at (415) 288-0425.


Stephen Spraitzar and George Tuttle are attorneys 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 such.


Copyright 2005 by Tuttle Law Offices.

All rights reserved. Information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. However, because of the possibility of human or mechanical error by our offices or by others, we do not guarantee the accuracy, adequacy, or completeness of any information and are not responsible for any errors, omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of such information.


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