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HQ 951117

April 21, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 951117 LPF


TARIFF NO.: 2201.10.0000

Mr. Shanker Seetharam
Venture Direct
9B/6A, Model Town,
Off. Mahakali Road,
Andheri East,
Bombay-400 093, India

RE: Natural mineral water in subheading 2201.10.0000, HTSUSA; Waters, including natural or artificial mineral waters and aerated waters.

Dear Mr. Seetharam:

This is in response to your letter of March 3, 1992, requesting the proper classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), of "Gangotri" mineral water, imported from India. You submitted a sample with your request for a binding ruling.


The product at issue is a mineral water packaged in plastic pouches. The water is packed at the source of the Ganga river in India. You state that Hindus revere it as holy water, among other things, for consumption to spiritually clean the body, washing the body as well as idols and sprinkling on the body when praying. The water has been tested in India and certified as fit for human consumption. It includes small portions of calcium, magnesium, sulfate and carbonate.


Whether the mineral water is classifiable in heading 2201 as a water, including natural or artificial mineral waters and aerated waters, not containing added sugar or other sweetening matter nor flavored, or is classifiable in an alternative heading.


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) taken in their appropriate order provide a framework for classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA. The majority of imported goods are classified by application of GRI 1, that is, according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative section or chapter notes. The Explanatory Notes (EN's) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, which represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, facilitate classification under the HTSUSA by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRI's.

Heading 2201 provides for waters, including natural mineral waters. The EN's to heading 2201 indicate that the heading covers, inter alia:

(B) Mineral waters, whether natural or artificial.

Natural mineral waters contain mineral salts or gases. The composition of these waters varies considerably and they are generally classified according to the chemical characteristics of their salts, e.g.:

(1) Alkaline waters.

(2) Sulphated waters....

The subject product, which includes a sulfate and other minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, is classifiable in heading 2201. The applicable subheading, 2201.10.0000, provides for mineral waters.


The "Gangotri" natural mineral water is classifiable in subheading 2201.10.0000, as "Waters, including natural or artificial mineral waters and aerated waters, not containing added sugar or other sweetening matter nor flavored; ice and snow: Mineral waters and aerated waters." The general column one rate of duty is 0.4 cent per liter. However, an article in this subheading is eligible for duty free treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) provided it meets the requirements of General Note 3(c)(ii), HTSUSA.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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