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HQ 083698

June 1, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 083698 SS


TARIFF NO.: 1701.91.4000, 9904.50.40

Mr. Clark D. Bien
General Counsel
Arbor Foods Incorporated
5070 West Maple Road
Suite 202
West Bloomfield, Michigan 48322

RE: Classification of a sugar drink mix base

Dear Mr. Bien:

This is in response to your letter dated February 1, 1989, addressed to the Customs office in Detroit, requesting a classification ruling for a drink mix base manufactured in Canada, Bahamas, and elsewhere, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedules of the United States (HTSUS).


The merchandise under consideration is a drink base mix which is stated to contain the following ingredients by weight:


Sugar 97.615 %
Citric acid 1.952 %
Tricalcium phosphate 0.130 %
Vitamin C 0.098 %
Sodium citrate 0.098 %
Lemon flavor 0.107 %
FD & C Yellow #5 negligible

The product in issue would be imported in standard industrial packings, including 2,000 pound totes and 100 pound bags. The drink mix base is stated to be used in the beverage industry as a base for the production of a variety of flavors of dry drink mixes. The finished drink mixes are produced by adding additional flavorings and colorings. The final product is produced by the addition of water by the consumer.


Whether a drink base mix containing 97.6 percent sugar mixed with flavoring, coloring and other ingredients is properly classifiable under subheading 2106.90.5000, HTSUS, which provides for other food preparations not elsewhere specified, or under subheading 1701.91.40, HTSUS, which provides for cane or beet sugar, containing added flavoring matter whether or not containing added coloring.


Classification under the HTSUS is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that classification is determined first in accordance with the terms of the headings and any relative Section or Chapter notes.

The merchandise under consideration is a sugar base drink mix containing added flavoring and coloring matter. Subheading 1701.91.40, HTSUS, provides for cane or beet sugar and chemically pure sucrose in solid form, containing added flavoring matter whether or not containing added coloring. Further, the Explanatory Notes to Chapter 21, which represent the official interpretation of the HTSUS at the international level, provide in section (1) in pertinent part that "... Powders which have the character of flavoured or coloured sugars used for the preparation of lemonade and the like fall in heading 17.01 or 17.02 as the case may be."

In view of the foregoing, the drink base mix under consideration is classifiable under heading 17.01.


The merchandise in issue, is properly classifiable under subheading 1701.91.40, HTSUS, and subject to zero quota restrictions of 9904.50.40, which provides for articles containing over 65 percent by dry weight of sugars derived from sugar cane or sugar beets, whether or not mixed with other ingredients, capable of being further processed or mixed with similar or other ingredients, and not prepared for marketing to the retail consumer in the identical form and package in which imported; all the foregoing articles provided for in subheading 1701.91.40. which provides for cane or beet sugar, containing added flavoring matter whether or not containing added coloring.

It is noted that New York Ruling 825891, dated November 25, 1987, and all other rulings issued by Customs which are inconsistent with the instant ruling are accordingly modified.


John Durant, Director

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