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HQ 086346

April 17, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 086346 STB


TARIFF NO.: 1901.90.90

District Director of Customs
909 First Ave., Rm 2039
Seattle, WA 98174

RE: Internal Advice No. 74-89 on frozen, partially baked pizza crust from Canada.

Dear Sir:

This is a decision in response to your memorandum of December 5, 1989 (file: CLA-2-19:N:N1:228-130), in which you forwarded a request for internal advice. Our decision on Internal Advice No. 74-89 is as follows:


The product at issue is frozen, partially baked pizza crust from Canada. The dough utilized for these crusts consists of unbleached enriched flour, water, vegetable oil, yeast, salt, a spoilage retardant, and a dough relaxer. Individual doughballs are rounded, oiled with vegetable oil and then placed on pans to be baked. The doughballs are then proofed in a rotary proofer, pressed out to size, proofed again and pressed again. The now flattened pizza dough is then baked at 600 degrees fahrenheit for 3 minutes. It is then cooled, wrapped and frozen for shipment. The resulting item is said to be 60% baked, requiring additional baking before reaching the consistency of pizza crust, the use for which counsel for the importer claims the item is singularly dedicated. The ultimate consumer is expected to complete the baking of the crust when preparing the end product.

The counsel for the importer is requesting that the crusts be classified as incomplete or unfinished "other bakers' wares" under 1905.90.90, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). In your memorandum of December 5, 1989, you stated that you agree with this classification since the partially baked crusts no longer possess the properties of dough; dough would be classified under 1901.20.00, HTSUSA. The National Import Specialist (NIS) in New York is now agreeing that this product is not dough. The NIS is arguing, however, that this product should be classified as other "food preparations of flour", under 1901.90.90, HTSUSA.


Whether the subject pizza crusts should be classified as a dough, unfinished "other bakers' wares", or as other food preparations of flour.


Classification under the HTSUSA 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 heading together with any relevant Section or Chapter notes.

It is our opinion that the pizza crusts can be classified by reference to GRI 1. Among other items, the terms of heading 1901 apply to "food preparations of flour". The Explanatory Notes (EN), the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level, state that the products of subheading 1901 must have a basis of flour and derive their essential character from such ingredient, although other substances may be added. Additionally, the goods of this heading may be intermediate preparations for the food industry, including ready mixed doughs. (EN at 140-141)

While we agree that these crusts have lost the properties of dough, we also believe that heading 1901, as described above, is the proper heading of classification for this product.

Since classification can be determined by reference to GRI 1, there is no need to proceed to GRI 2(a) to determine whether these crusts constitute incomplete or unfinished "other bakers' wares" under heading 1905. Moreover, it would be impracticable to classify an item that is 60% baked under heading 1905. The question would then arise as to the classification of items that are 10% baked, 20% baked, etc. It could be argued that an item that is 95% baked, such as "brown & serve" rolls, possesses the essential character of bakers' wares. However, since we have heading 1901, under which items other than dough can be classified, there is no need to force products such as the crusts at issue into heading 1905.


The pizza crusts are properly classifiable under subheading 1901.90.90, HTSUSA, which provides for "Malt extract; food preparations of flour...: Other: Other: Other: Other." The applicable duty rate is 10%. You should notify the internal advice applicant of this decision and furnish him with a copy.


Jerry Laderberg, Acting Director

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