United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1990 HQ Rulings > HQ 0732331 - HQ 0732810 > HQ 0732480

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 732480

July 31, 1989

MAR 2-05 CO:R:C:V 732480 pmh


Mr. John F. Lemker
Burditt, Bowles & Radzius,
333 West Wacker Drive
Suite 2500
Chicago, IL 60606-1218

RE: Country of origin marking requirements for fruit juice exported for processing and packaging and returned to the U.S.

Dear Mr. Lemker:

This is in response to your letter of June 15, 1989, on behalf of your client, McCain Citrus, Inc., requesting a ruling on country of origin marking requirements for fruit juice concentrate that is manufactured in the U.S., processed in Canada and returned to the U.S. for sale.


In your letter and in a telephone call with Ms. Patty Hanson of my staff, you indicated that the fruit juice concentrate, whether of a single type of fruit or of mixed fruit, is of U.S. origin. Thereafter, the juice concentrate will be exported to Grand Falls, New Brunswick, Canada, where it will be mixed with water and packaged in containers also shipped from the U.S. The finished product will then be returned to the U.S. for sale. No further processing is performed before sale.


Whether there has been a substantial transformation of the fruit juice concentrate manufactured in the U.S. by the processing operations performed in Canada, so as to render the finished fruit juice a product of Canada.


Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), provides in general that all articles of foreign origin imported into the U.S., or their containers, shall be legibly and
conspicuously marked to indicate the country of origin to an ultimate purchaser in the U.S. U.S. products exported and returned are specifically excepted from country of origin marking requirements under section 134.32(m), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.32(m)). In applying this section, Customs has ruled that products of the U.S. which are exported for further processing and subsequently returned, are generally not subject to country of origin marking upon importation to the U.S., unless the further processing in the foreign country constituted a substantial transformation of the product. See C.S.D. 80-15; C.S.D. 79-443.

In defining what constitutes a substantial transformation, Customs has held that a new and different article of commerce having a new name, character and use must emerge from the processing. See United States v. Gibson-Thomsen Co., Inc., 27 C.C.P.A. 267, C.A.D. 98 (1940). In addition, factors such as complexity and cost of the processing operations and whether the essence of the article has been changed, have also been considered. See Uniroyal Inc. v. United States, 3 C.I.T. 220, 542 F. Supp. 1026 (1982), aff'd, 702 F.2d 1022 (Fed. Cir. 1983).

In National Juice Products Association v. United States, 10 C.I.T. 48, 628 F. Supp. 978 (1986), the Court of International Trade upheld Customs' determination that orange juice concentrate is not substantially transformed when it is processed into retail orange juice products. The orange juice concentrate at issue in that case underwent significant processing, was mixed with orange essences and oils, purified and dechlorinated water and was either packaged in cans and frozen or pasteurized and packaged in liquid form. Customs found, and the court agreed, that such processing did not change the fundamental character of the orange juice concentrate and that it was the orange juice concentrate that imparted the essential character to the final product.

According to the facts you have presented, the only activity which takes place in Canada is the addition of water to the concentrate and packaging. The juice concentrate undergoes less processing than that in National Juice Products Association. Merely adding water to the juice concentrate does not change the fundamental character of the juice concentrate and it is the U.S.-made concentrate that imparts the essential character to the finished product. This case is well within the perimeters established by Uniroyal and National Juice Products Association. It is our opinion that no new article of commerce has emerged from the Canadian processing and that the final product remains the same in name, character and use.


Juice concentrate manufactured in the U.S. and exported for processing, which consists of mixing with water and packaging as described above, does not undergo a substantial transformation. It remains a product of the U.S. and is exempt from the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 upon importation to the U.S. With regard to fruit juice concentrate of a single type of fruit, this holding applies only to concentrate that is wholly of U.S. origin and would not apply to juice concentrate that is imported or that has been mixed with any imported juice concentrate.


Marvin M. Amernick

Previous Ruling Next Ruling