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 > 1992 HQ Rulings > HQ 0950677 - HQ 0950776 > HQ 0950743

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 950743

January 24,1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 950743 JGH


TARIFF NO.: 2106.90.60

Mr. Bennett Johnson
Nissin Customs Service, Inc.
1580 West Carson Street
Long Beach, California 90810

RE: Classification of soybean oligosaccharides

Dear Mr. Bennett:

Your letter of September 19, 1991, concerns the tariff status of soybean oligosaccharides from Japan under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).


Soybean oligosaccharides, in syrup or powder form, are said to be produced by an extraction process involving chemical changes, filtration, ion exchange, and evaporation. The product is said to be used as a sweetener in such products as soft drinks, candy, and syrup.

The composition of the oligosaccharides is given as follows:

Sugars Percentage By Weight

Syrup Granule

Stachyrose (tetrasaccharide) 18.6 23.8

Raffinose ( Trisaccharide) 7.0 8.9

Sucrose 38.4 49.0

Glucose 5.2 6.7

Fructose 4.6 5.9

Other Saccharides 2.1 2.7

Water 24.1 3.0

Samples of the product examined by a Customs laboratory were described as sugar mixtures consisting of sucrose, glucose, fructose, raffinose (a trisaccharide), and stachyrose (a tetrasaccharide).


Whether soybean oligosaccharides are classifiable under the provision for other sugars in heading 1702, HTSUS, other mixtures in subheading 3823.90.50, HTSUS, or other food preparations in heading 2106, HTSUS.


Even though the product might be a mixture of sugars, for tariff purposes it would not necessarily be classified as sugar.

Chapter Note 1(b), Chapter 17, HTSUS, "Sugar and Sugar Confectionary", states that the chapter does not cover chemically pure sugars (other than sucrose, lactose, maltose, glucose and fructose) or other products of heading 2940, HTSUS, the organic chemical provision for chemically pure sugar.

The Explanatory Notes to the HTSUS provides an explanation of the tariff provisions on the international level. The explanatory notes to heading 2940 point out that the provision covers those chemically pure sugars which are not considered "sugar" for tariff purposes. Included in 2940 as organic chemical compounds are galactose, sorbose, xylose, raffinose, trehalose, ribose, arabinose, and pectinose. It goes on to state, however, sucrose, glucose, maltose, and fructose, even if chemically pure, are classifiable as sugars in chapter 17, HTSUS.

Chapter Note 1(b) to Chapter 38, HTSUS, "Miscellaneous Chemical Products", states that mixtures of chemicals with foodstuffs or other substances with nutritive value, of a kind used in the preparation of human foodstuffs are not classifiable in the chapter. Thus, if it is determined that some of the sugars listed are foodstuffs (which sucrose, glucose and maltose are, even if chemically pure) since they are mixed with other sugars which are considered by the tariff to be organic chemicals, the mixture would not be classified as a chemical mixture in heading 3823, HTSUS. The chapter note indicates that heading 2106 for other food preparations might apply.

As noted in the analysis, the product consists from over 40 to over 50 percent of sugars considered by the tariff to be foodstuffs, (i.e.- sucrose, glucose, and fructose).

The Explanatory Notes to heading 2106, HTSUS, state that the provision includes preparations consisting wholly or partly of foodstuffs, used in making beverages or food preparations for human consumption. The heading includes preparations consisting of chemcials (organic acids, calcium salts, lecithin, etc.) with food stuffs (flour, sugar, milk powder), as ingredients.

For tariff purposes,the product is a mixture of sugars classifiable in chapter 17 as foodstuffs, and other sugars classifiable as organic chemical compounds in chapter 29, HTSUS. Such a mixture is not classifiable as sugar in chapter 17, nor is it a chemcial mixture in chapter 38, but rather, following the definitions in the tariff designed to assist in the classification of the import under the most specific provision, it is classifiable under heading 2106, HTSUS.


Soybean oligosaccharides, as described, are classifiable under the provision for other food preparations, not elsewhere specified or included, in subheading 2106.90.6099, HTSUS. The rate of duty is 10 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

Previous Ruling Next Ruling