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 > 1993 HQ Rulings > HQ 0950876 - HQ 0951029 > HQ 0950891

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 950891

March 26, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 950891 LPF


TARIFF NO.: 1006.30.10

Ms. Mary L. Ornstead
Yamaco Restaurant Products, Inc.
180 Nickerson Street, Suite 105
Seattle, WA 98109

RE: Kamameshi food products in 1006.30.10, HTSUSA; Rice, semi- milled or wholly milled, Parboiled; Set under GRI 3(b)

Dear Ms. Ornstead:

This is in response to your letters of October 31, 1991 and January 28, 1992 submitted on behalf of Yamaco Restaurant Products, Inc., regarding the proper classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), of Unagi, Matsutake and Gomoku Kamameshi food products. You submitted samples with your request for a binding ruling.


The Kamameshi, imported from Japan, consists of three varieties. It is described as a savory rice meal and includes a retail package containing a rice packet, soup packet and either an eel, mushroom or bamboo shoot packet. The rice undergoes a partial pre-cooking process where it is washed, simmered for approximately two hours, microwave heated and vacuum dried. The product is prepared by mixing together, and then cooking, the three packets enclosed in each package.

The Unagi Kamameshi includes: water, rice, eel, soysauce (water, soybeans, wheat and salt), soup stock (chicken and bonito), bamboo shoots, shiitake mushroom, seasoning (rice wine) and monosodium glutamate.

The Matsutake Kamameshi includes: water, rice, matsutake mushroom, soysauce (water, soybeans, wheat and salt), soup stock (chicken and bonito), bamboo shoots, shiitake mushroom, seasoning (rice wine) and monosodium glutamate.

The Gomoku Kamameshi includes: water, rice, bamboo shoots, soysauce (water, soybeans, wheat and salt), soup stock (chicken and bonito), shiitake mushroom, carrots, burdock, fried tofu (soybeans, water, soybean oil, calcium chloride), seasoning (rice wine) and monosodium glutamate.


Whether the Kamameshi food products are classifiable in heading 1006 as rice; in heading 2104 as a soup, broth or preparation therefor; or elsewhere, depending on the individual variety of the product.


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. In the event that the good cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's may then be applied. 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.

The Kamameshi food products consist, in part, of two items common to each variety, which are classifiable as follows: the rice in heading 1006 and the soup in heading 2104. In addition, depending on the individual variety of the product, that is, eel, mushroom or bamboo shoot, this third item may also be classified accordingly. Since separate HTSUSA headings provide for each of these items, the product is classified by applying GRI 3(a) which explains, in pertinent part, that products which are classifiable under two or more headings are classified under the heading which provides the most specific description of the product. However, all such headings are regarded as equally specific when each refers to only part of the items in a set put up for retail sale.

In accordance with EN X to GRI 3(b), the product is a set since: (a) at least two of the items are classifiable in different headings; (b) the product consists of items put up together to meet a particular need, specifically, to provide a food product, or savory rice meal, for human consumption; and (c) the set, in its retail package with various food packets, is ready for direct sale without repacking.

Since the Kamameshi is, therefore, a set, and the headings under which the items could be classified refer to only part of the items in the set, we turn to GRI 3(b) to classify the product. This provides that the set is classified by the item which gives the set its essential character. "Essential character" is the attribute which strongly marks or serves to distinguish what an article, or set, is. EN VIII to GRI 3(b) explains that essential character may be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the product.

In this case, the rice imparts the essential character. Although it does not appear that any single item clearly provides the weight and bulk of the product, the rice does distinguish the product as a "savory rice meal." Furthermore, the use of the other items serve to enhance the rice by providing various ways to prepare the rice.

Accordingly, heading 1006 provides for rice. The EN's to 1006 indicate that the heading covers:

...Parboiled rice, which, while still in the husk and before being subjected to other processes (e.g., husking, milling, polishing), has been soaked in hot water or steamed and then dried. At certain stages of the parboiling process, the rice may have been treated under pressure or exposed to a complete or partial vacuum.

The grain structure of parboiled rice is only modified to a minor extent by the process it has undergone. Such rice, after milling, polishing, etc., takes from 20 to 35 minutes to cook fully.

From the information and samples provided, the rice appears to be milled. Moreover, as is indicative of parboiled rice, the subject rice undergoes the minor preparation described above and takes from about 20 to 25 minutes to cook. Thus, the rice, and consequently the Kamameshi products, are classifiable in 1006.30.10.


The Unagi, Matsutake and Gomoku Kamameshi food products are classifiable in subheading 1006.30.10, HTSUSA, as "Rice: Semi- milled or wholly milled rice, whether or not polished or glazed: Parboiled." The general column one rate of duty is 17.5 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: