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HQ 951238

July 7, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 951238 JGH


TARIFF NO.: 2101.10.40

John B. Pelligrini, Esq.
Ross & Hardies
529 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10017-4608

RE: Classification of an instant coffee mix

Dear Mr. Pelligrini:

Your letter of February 26, 1992, concerns the tariff status, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of an instant coffee mix blended in Canada.


The instant coffee mix will be blended in Canada and imported into the United States in bulk and packaged in retail- sized packages. In Canada the following components will be blended:

Percent by volume of Product Value

Sugar 50 13.4
Milk powder 42 56.9
Coffee 7.5 28.2
Cocoa powder 0.5 0.4

The sugar is said to be refined in Canada; the milk powder is of United States origin, and the instant coffee is from Brazil, with cocoa powder sourced in the United States.


Classification of an instant coffee mix.


Classification is urged under the provision for preparations with a basis of coffee in subheading 2101.10.40, HTSUS, in behalf
of the importer. It is noted that the Explanatory Notes indicate that the provision includes preparations such as "coffee pastes" which are mixtures of ground, roasted coffee with vegetable fats. Another example given is of a tea preparation consisting of powdered milk, tea and sugar. Thus, it is felt that a similar preparation based on coffee would be similarly classified. Subheading 2101.10.40 is a more specific classification than subheading 1901.90.30, which is described as basket provision for food articles based on milk.

We agree. It is believed that the Explanatory Notes for heading 2101 make it clear that this type of instant coffee product would be included in subheading 2101.10.40, HTSUS.

The next question concerns the eligibility under the United States-Canada Free-Trade Agreement Implementation Act of 1988. (CFTA).

The first claim is that applicable CFTA origin rule is the change in classification from one chapter to another. General Notes 3(c)(vii)(R)(1) and (4). The change for sugar from heading 1701 to 2101, would warrant, it is claimed, the sugar being regarded as Canadian. The milk powder is of U.S. origin, but it is acknowledged that the instant coffee is of Brazilian origin and does not undergo the requisite chapter change.

Under General Note 3(c)(vii)(R)(aa), a change from one chapter to another is required, concerning chapters 16 through 24. Since it is concluded the instant coffee provides the essential character of the product there has to a change from the classification of the instant coffee to the finished product, for the product to qualify under the CFTA. Instant coffee is classifiable under subheading 2101.10.2025, and the instant coffee mix is classifiable under 2101.10.4060, HTSUS. Therefore the product has not been processed from one chapter to another.

Another argument is that the product would qualify for CFTA benefits by virtue of General Note 3(c)(vii)(H). This rule applies to the value of the goods to be assembled in Canada. However, it has no application to the product in issue, since the blending of the instant coffee product is not considered an assembly operation.


The instant coffee preparation described is classifiable in subheading 2101.10.4060, HTSUS, as a preparation with a basis of coffee. The rate of duty is 10 percent ad valorem. In addition it is subject to the quota restraints of 9904.60.60, HTSUS.


John Durant, Director

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