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HQ 087426

July 26, 1990

CLA-2:CO:R:C:G 087426 SER


TARIFF NO.: 2208.90.80

Mr. Rick Wilson
Bacardi Imports, Inc.
2100 Biscayne Boulevard
Miami, Florida 33137

RE: Rum-based beverage; U.S.-Canada Free-Trade Agreement

Dear Mr. Wilson:

On March 2, 1990, you received a tariff classification of a rum-based beverage under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) in Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 085406. In that ruling the beverage was classified in subheading 2208.90.80, HTSUSA, which provides for other spirituous beverages. At the time that the ruling letter was issued the beverage did not meet the requirements of the U.S.- Canada Free-Trade Agreement (FTA), and therefore, did not receive any FTA benefits.


Rum is produced in Puerto Rico by Bacardi Corporation using molasses stated to be from the Dominican Republic. The rum will be shipped in bulk from Bacardi Corporation to Castleton, Florida, where it will be blended with real fruit juices and natural flavors to create a Bacardi rum concentrate. This concentrate will then be shipped in bulk at 120 proof in tank containers to F.B.M. in Canada where it will be further blended with carbonated waters, sweeteners and other minor food ingredients before being brought back into the United States. You state that all the ingredients added in Canada will be of Canadian origin.


Does this beverage now qualify for reduced duties under the United States/Canada Free Trade Agreement, following the issuance of Presidential Proclamation 6142.


As was noted in HRL 085406, the provisions in the General Notes to the HTSUSA that set forth the FTA differed from the provisions approved by Congress. At the time the HRL 085406 was issued the language of the General Notes in the HTSUSA required that to be an originating good within the Rules of Origin and thus receive the benefits of the FTA, the good, "if not a wholly obtained good, must undergo a transformation in which a tariff classification change in Canada," must occur (emphasis added). This language differed from the statutory language of the implementing legislation enacted by Congress, which allows for transformation of a product in either the United States or Canada or both. This product previously did not meet the standards of the General Note because it did not undergo the required transformation of tariff classification in Canada.

On May 25, 1990, Presidential Proclamation 6142 modified General Note 3(c)(vii) of the HTSUSA by deleting from subdivision (B)(2)(I) the words "in Canada". This change brought the General Notes of the HTSUSA into conformity with the legislation enacted by Congress, enabling the product at issue to receive beneficial duty treatment under the FTA, since it had undergone the required tariff classification change in the United States.


The product at issue, a rum-based beverage, is properly classified in subheading 2208.90.80, HTSUSA, which provides for "other" spirituous beverages. The rate of duty is 26.4 cents per proof liter under the FTA category. In addition, imports under this subheading may be subject to a Federal Excise Tax (26 U.S.C. 5001) of $12.50 per proof gallon and a proportionate tax at the like rate on all fractional parts of a proof gallon.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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