Customs classified the merchandise in 4421.90.97 as other articles of wood. The imported protested that classification and claimed that the correct classification is 4412.99.51 as other plywood, veneered panels, and similar laminated wood. The issue, therefore, was whether the imported merchandise is properly classified as plywood, veneered panels, or similar laminated wood. If so, it would not be classifiable as an "other article of wood."
According to the plaintiff, the merchandise described above fits squarely within the definition of a veneered panel or, in the alternative, as a "similar laminated wood."
For those of you who, like me, might have no idea what this case is about, here is a useful illustration:
|From Homestead Interior Doors http://www.door.cc/|
Plaintiff relied on a prior decision of the Federal Circuit called Boen defining plywood construction for purposes of Heading 4412. That case defined plywood, but did not address the meaning of veneer. Consequently, the CIT was not moved to follow it.
That leaves open the question of whether the merchandise is "similar laminated wood." On this, the CIT was also unconvinced. The Explanatory Notes define similar laminated wood as:
 Blockboard, laminboard and battenboard, in which the core is thick and composed of blocks, laths or battens of wood glued together and surfaced with the outer plies. Panels of this kind are very rigid and strong and can be used without framing or backing.
 Panels in which the wooden core is replaced by other materials such as a layer or layers of particle board, fibreboard, wood waste glued together, asbestos or cork.