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HQ 085105

July 31, 1989

CLA-2:CO:R:C:G 085105 SER


TARIFF NO.: 1701.99.0000

Mr. R. J. Groves
H.C. Brill Co., Inc.
1912 Montreal Road
Tucker, GA 30084

RE: Classification of a blend of malto-dextrin and sucrose.

Dear Mr. Groves,

This is in reference to your letter dated May 19, 1989, requesting the tariff classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), of a product consisting of a blend of malto-dextrin and sucrose. A sample produced in Mexico was submitted.


The product at issue is described as a combination of malto- dextrin, derived from starch, and sucrose derived from sugar cane. These ingredients are spray dried together. In the summer a small amount of starch is added to prevent caking. The product will be used as a basic component in the production of donut glazes and cake icing. The winter formulation of this product is stated to contain 47 percent sucrose and 53 percent malto- dextrin. The summer formulation contains 45.5 percent sucrose, 51.5 percent malto-dextrin, and 3 percent starch.

The sucrose is stated to act as a dispersant to facilitate solution of the malto-dextrin and prevent the formation of undissolved particles. The function of the malto-dextrin in the blend is stated to act as a low sweetness stablilizer, which contributes to the viscosity, sheen, drying, and resistance to draining off of an icing or glaze.


What is the classification of the sucrose and malto-dextrin blend under the HTSUSA?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA, is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI), taken in order. When goods are prima facie classifiable under two or more headings GRI 3 is applicable. In this case classification is determined by application of GRI 3(b) which provides:

Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, . . . shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character.

"In general, 'essential character' has been construed to mean the attribute which strongly marks or serves to distinguish what an article is; that which is indespensible (sic) to the structure, core or condition of the article." Harmonized System Handbook: A Guide to the New U.S. Tariff, Office of Reg. & Rulings, U.S. Customs Service, (August 1986), page 14.

Both the sucrose and the malto-dextrin are about equal in proportion and value. However, this product will be used to make glazes and icings, which are sugar based products with the characteristic of sweetness. Therefore, the essential character of this blend is imparted by the sucrose. While the malto-dextrin is a sugar, it is not used for its sweetness.

In describing malto-dextrins, Explanatory Note A(6) to heading 1702 of the HTSUSA, state: "They are used chiefly in the manufacture of baby food and low-calorie dietic foods, as exten ders for flavouring substances or food colouring agents, and in the pharmaceutical industry as carriers."

The Handbook of Sugars, the AVI Publishing Company, Inc., 1973, page 168 states: "Malto-dextrins will produce excellent bodying effects in many food products." The same source on page 169 states: "Malto-dextrins, may be used in food systems to control sucrose or dextrose crystallization."

In summary, the purpose of this product is for the production of sweet toppings such as icings and glazes. The source of the sweetness is the sucrose. The Malto-dextrin in this product has a secondary function as a filler and as an aid in the congealing process.


The merchandise at issue is a mixture, subject to GRI 3(b), and the essential character of the mixture is imparted by the sucrose. Classification is under subheading 1701.99.0000, HTSUSA, which provides for cane or beet sugar and chemically pure sucrose, in solid form, other, other. Under this subheading the merchandise is subject to the quota and fees in additional U.S. Note 3 to Chapter 17, HTSUSA. The rate of duty is 1.406 cents per kilogram, less 0.020668 cents per kilogram for each degree under 100 degrees ( and fractions of a degree in proportion) but not less than 0.942854 cents per kilogram; however, the merchandise may be entitled to free entry under the Generalized System of Preferences if otherwise qualified.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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