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HQ 086477

March 26, 1990

CLA-2:CO:R:C:G 086477 SER


TARIFF NO.: 2309.90.1050

Jack D. Mlawski, Esquire
Galvin, Fox & Palmer
425 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10022-3506

RE: Efrotomycin granules

Dear Mr. Mlawski:

This is in reference to your request, on behalf of Merck & Co., Inc., for classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) of Efrotomycin granules from Holland.


The merchandise at issue is an antibiotic which consists of 20% Efrotomycin granules which is sold to feed supplement suppliers or utilized by the Merck & Co. solely for the preparation of 3.2% pre-mix feed supplement. The imported 20% Efrotomycin granules will consist of the following: 25% of the imported granules will be comprised of 80% Efrotomycin; and the remaining 75% will be attributable to the Magnesium Alginate.

The bulk Efrotomycin used in the production of the imported 20% Efrotomycin granules is manufactured domestically by Merck. The domestically produced bulk Efrotomycin consists of an unstabilized antibiotic mixture. The bulk Efrotomycin is exported to a division of Merck in Holland for formulation into the imported stabilized 20% Efrotomycin granule.

In Holland the bulk Efrotomycin is charged along with water, thickeners, and stabilizers to a mixer yielding an Efrotomycin magnesium alginate blend of proper consistency for extrusion. The blend is thereafter transported via a turning feeder screw through an extruder barrel fitted with a stainless steel dye of appropriate size to produce continuous strands. The exudate is passed through a mill to reduce the strands to short rods which are dried to a pre-determined specification. Optimum particle size is achieved through cracking the dried rods in a special mill resulting in the imported 20% Efrotomycin granule.


Whether the product is an antibiotic or an animal feed preparation.


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI), taken in order. The Harmonized System is a complete product classification system, and the goal of the Harmonized System is to place all goods that are imported into the specific classifications. 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, that is, according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

The primary function of this product is as an antibiotic additive to feed mixes. One possible subheading in which the product at issue, on its face, can be classified is Heading 2941, HTSUS, which provides for antibiotics. The Explanatory Notes to Heading 2941, HTSUSA, provide guidance for classification in this Heading. The Explanatory Notes preclude classification of products of "antibiotic preparations of a kind used in animal feeding (i.e. dried and standardized complete mycelium [Heading 2309])." The product at issue, as indicated in the literature provided with the classification request, is solely to be utilized in feed preparations and, thus, would be precluded from classification in Heading 2941, HTSUS.

Examination of Heading 2309, HTSUS, which provides for preparations of a kind used in animal feeds, would indicate that this is where the product at issue should be properly classified. The Explanatory Notes under the provision for "other animal feed preparations" indicate that these preparations, known in the trade as "premixes", are, generally speaking, compound compositions consisting of a number of substances (sometimes called additives) the nature and proportions of which vary according to the animal production required. These substances are of three types:

1 - Those which improve digestion and, more generally, ensure that the animal makes good use of the feeds and safeguard its health: vitamins or provitamins, amino- acids, antibiotics, coccidiostats, trace elements, etc.

2 - Those designed to preserve the feeding stuffs . . .

3 - Those which serve as carriers . . . .

The concentration of the substances described in the above and the nature of the carrier are determined so as to ensure, in particular, homogeneous dispersion and mixing of these substances in the compound feeds to which the preparations are added:

Provided they are of a kind used in animal feeding, this group also includes:

(a) preparations consisting of several mineral substances.

(b) products of the antibiotics manufacturing process obtained by simply drying the mass, i.e. the entire contents of the fermentation vessel (essentially mycelium, the culture medium and the antibiotic). The resulting dry substance, whether or not standardized by adding organic or inorganic substances, has an antibiotic content ranging generally between 8 percent and 16 percent and is used as basic material in preparing, in particular, "premixes".

This Heading provides the most specific description of the product at issue. Though the Explanatory Notes dictate a range of 8-16 percent on the antibiotic content of goods which are to be classified in this Heading, and the product at issue has a 20-30 percent level; the range stated is qualified by the use of the word "generally", which allows for some flexibility. "Generally", as used in this section, is descriptive rather than a limitation. Taking into consideration the fact that the product is most specifically provided for in Heading 2309, HTSUS, this is where the product is properly classified.


The product at issue, Efrotomycin granules, an antibiotic used in animal feed, is properly classified in subheading 2309.90.1050, HTSUSA, which provides for preparations of a kind used in animal feeding: other: other. The rate of duty is free.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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