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NY 853917

August 03, 1990



TARIFF NO.: 0406.30.5000 (9904.10.51)

Ms. Bea Moreno
Hermann Ludwig Inc.
1462 Elmhurst Road
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007

RE: The tariff classification of "Laughing Cow" Gruyere-Process cheese from France.

Dear Ms. Moreno:

In your letter dated June 21, 1990, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

This product is described as "Laughing Cow" cheese, produced by Fromageries Bel of Paris, France. A sample of the product consisted of eight individual cheese wedges, each wrapped in foil and packaged in a circular paperboard box holding 5 ounces (140 grams), net weight. Both the paperboard box and the individual wedges bear the recorded trademark of the "Laughing Cow". You state that "Laughing Cow" Process cheese is produced from as Gruyere cheese, or from Emmenthal cheese, or from a mixture of Swiss and Cheddar cheeses, but advise that you intend to import only the Gruyere-process cheese. The label on the sample submitted shows the product ingredients as milk, cheese culture, salt enzymes, cream, sodium phosphate, sodium citrate, and salt. Please note that the invoice description of these products, when exported to the United States, must identify the natural cheese, or cheeses, which are used in manufacturing the processed product. An analysis of the sample by the U.S. Customs Laboratory at New York reported the composition of the sample, by weight, as 54.5 percent moisture, 23.5 percent butterfat (51.5 percent butterfat in the dry matter), 11.3 percent protein, and 2.7 percent salt. The pH of the sample was 5.8.

The applicable subheading for "Laughing Cow" Gruyere-process cheese will be 0406.30.5000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for Gruyere-process cheese. The rate of duty will be 6.4 percent ad valorem.

Articles classifiable in HTS subheading 0406.30.5000 are subject to quota quantity restrictions listed in subchapter IV of Chapter 99 in HTS subheading 9904.10.51, which limits the amount of such cheese which may be imported from the European Economic Community to an annual quota quantity of 3,625,000 kilograms. Additionally, an import license, issued to the importer by the United States Department of Agriculture, will be required at the time such merchandise is entered for consumption into the United States.

Questions regarding licensing procedures and applications for license to import cheese subject to quota should be addressed to:
Head, Dairy and Import Group
Dairy, Livestock and Poultry Division
Federal Agricultural Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Washington, D.C. 20250

Information regarding applicable regulations administered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration--specifically, with regard to labeling requirements and product identity--may be addressed to that Agency at the following location:

U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Division of Regulatory Guidance
HFF 314, 200 C Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20204

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Jean F. Maguire
Area Director

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