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HQ 952109

September 4, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 952109 LPF


TARIFF NO.: 1901.90.3030, 9904.10.60

Mr. Mario Rappa
Central & South American Foods
33-63 55th Street
Woodside, NY 11377

RE: Dulce de leche, caramel spread; Heading 1901, HTSUSA; Food preparation of goods of headings 0401 to 0404; Not 2106, food preparation; HRL's 084848, 086428, 950624.

Dear Mr. Rappa:

This is in response to your inquiry dated June 29, 1992, submitted on behalf of Central & South American Foods, regarding the proper classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), of dulce de leche. You submitted a sample with your request for a binding ruling.


The product at issue, from Argentina, is dulce de leche, or caramel spread. This brown, creamy paste, put up in a glass jar containing 450 grams, net weight, is used as a spread similar to jam or jelly. In your letter you state the product is composed of milk product, sugar, vanilla and corn glucose. The writing on the back of the product states that it contains a minimum amount of 24 percent milk solids. The product label only lists these ingredients: caramel, vanilla, corn glucose and sugar.


Whether the dulce de leche is classifiable in 1901 as a food preparation of goods of heading 0401 to 0404, or rather in 2106 as a food preparation not elsewhere specified or included.


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 1901, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, food preparations of goods of headings 0401 to 0404 (milk and milk products), not containing cocoa powder or containing cocoa powder in a proportion by weight of less than 10 percent. The EN's to 1901 indicate that the preparations of this heading contain, in addition to natural milk constituents, other ingredients not permitted in the products of headings 0401 to 0404.

In this case, milk gives the product its flavor and imparts the taste and consistency to this caramelized spread. The language of heading 1901, and of the EN's, describes the product, since it is based on milk. In the past, Customs has determined that milk is the predominant characteristic of dulce de leche, and has consistently classified this product in heading 1901. See Headquarters' Ruling Letters 084848 (issued October 3, 1989), 086428 (issued March 8, 1990) and 950624 (issued February 20, 1992).

Having determined that heading 1901 appropriately provides for the product, there is no need to resort to a less specific heading, such as 2106, which provides only for products not specified elsewhere.


The dulce de leche is classifiable in subheading 1901.90.3030, HTSUSA, as "Malt extract...; food preparations of goods of headings 0401 to 0404, not containing cocoa powder or containing cocoa powder in a proportion by weight of less than 10 percent, not elsewhere specified or included: Other: Malted milk; articles of milk or cream not specially provided for, Other: Provided for in subheading 9904.10.60." Products classifiable in subheading 9904.10.60 are subject to an annual quota limitation of 2,721 kilograms.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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