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HQ 085492

October 20, 1989

CLA-2:CO:R:C:G 085492 SER


TARIFF NO.: 2106.90.6099

Mr. Paul C. Bird, Sr.
191 Plymouth Lane, Apt. 1
Glen Burnie, MD 21061

RE: Encapsulated herbal supplements

Dear Mr. Bird:

This is in reference to your letter of August 1, 1989, requesting the tariff classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), of encapsulated herbal supplements from Brazil. Samples were submitted. Classification of an oil of rosa mosqueta was also requested, and was provided by our New York office in NYRL 844161.


The merchandise to be classified consists of four different types of encapsulated herbal food supplements. They are each packaged in plastic and aluminum containers which allow for each capsule to be "popped out". The capsules are then all packaged in boxes containing three packages of tablets containing twenty tablets each. The products are described as follows:

Item 1 - Rio D'Amour Catauba 100% pure - powdered bark Item 2 - Rio Amazon Guarana 100% pure - stoneground seeds Item 3 - Rio Partudo Pfaffia - powdered root of Brazilian ginseng
Item 4 - Rio Vitalis Lapacho - extract of tree bark

These products are free of additives and are imported in gelatin capsule form, each containing 500 mg and are sold as food supplements with a recommended dosage rate.


What is the classification of the herbal food supplements under the HTSUSA?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

The goal of the Harmonized System is to place all goods that are imported/exported into a specific classification category. The Harmonized System is a detailed goods nomenclature in which all goods are classified. In this context the word "goods" is used in its broadest sense to include all merchandise. The systematic detail is such that virtually all goods are classifiable by application of GRI 1.

Heading 2106, HTSUSA, provides for food preparations not elsewhere specified or included. The Explanatory Notes constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. The Explanatory Notes to heading 2106, HTSUSA, explicitly mention preparations which are also referred to as food supplements. In this note, it discusses food supplements which are based on extracts from plants "containing added vitamins. Although the merchandise at issue does not have vitamins added, as food supplements, they are nonetheless classified in this heading.

The classification of the merchandise at issue in heading 2106, HTSUSA, is further justified when compared with other possible headings of classification. Heading 1211, HTSUSA, provides for plants and parts of plants, of a kind used primarily in perfumery, in pharmacy or for insecticidal, fungicidal or similar purposes. The Explanatory Notes to this section state that products which are more specifically described in other headings of the nomenclature are excluded from this heading. Based upon the use of the herbal supplements, they would fit more specifically in the category of food supplements, than as an item that would fall under heading 1211, HTSUSA.


The merchandise at issue is classifiable under subheading 2106.90.60, HTSUSA, which provides for food preparations not elsewhere specified or included. The goods may be entitled to entry free of duty under the Generalized System of Preferences, if otherwise qualified. Otherwise the rate of duty is 10 percent ad valorem.

The merchandise may be subject to the regulations of the Food and Drug Administration. You may contact them at:

5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, Maryland 20857
(202) 443-3380


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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