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NY 875591

July 16, 1992



TARIFF NO.: 0406.90.8060 (9904.10.54)

Ms. Patricia Compres
Customized Brokers
P.O. Box 163021
Miami, Fl 33116

RE: The tariff classification of QUESO SECO AHUMADO (SMOKED DRY CHEESE) from Honduras.

Dear Ms. Compres:

In your letter dated June 16, 1992, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client Herrera Tortillas Corporation.

The product in question is described as QUESO SECO AHUMADO, or SMOKED DRY CHEESE, "Queso NICA Cheese" brand. The sample provided with your inquiry is a white cheese, salty to the taste but with a smoky, slightly sour flavor. The body of the cheese is compact with many mechanical openings, and has a crumbly texture. The exterior of the cheese has a brown color typical of smoked cheeses. An analysis of your sample by the U.S. Customs Laboratory at New York indicates that this cheese is made from cow's milk and contains, by weight, 34.4 percent moisture, 29.8 percent fat (45.4 percent fat on a dry basis), 25.2 percent protein and 6.0 percent salt, with a pH of 6.0.

The applicable subheading for this QUESO SECO AHUMADO (SMOKED DRY CHEESE) will be 0406.90.8060, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for Other cheese:...Other, including and substitutes for cheese, mixtures of the above:...Other, including mixtures of the above:... Other:...Other:...Containing cow's milk (except soft-ripened cow's milk cheese). The duty rate will be 10 percent ad valorem.

Articles classifiable under subheading 0406.90.8060, HTS, which are products of Honduras, are entitled to duty free treatment under the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA) upon compliance with all applicable regulations.

Articles classifiable in HTS subheading 0406.90.8060 are subject to quota quantity restrictions listed in subchapter IV of Chapter 99 in HTS subheading 9904.10.54, which limits the amount of such cheese which may be imported from countries (including Honduras) with no specific quota allocation to an annual quota quantity of 201,635 kilograms. Additionally, an import license, issued to the importer by the United States Department of Agriculture, will be required at the time such merchandise is entered for consumption into the United States.

Questions regarding licensing procedures and applications for license to import cheese subject to quota should be addressed to:

U.S. Department of Agriculture
Foreign Agricultural Service
Import Policies & Trade Analysis Division Att.: Dairy Import Group, Rm 5531, So. Bldg. Washington, D.C. 20250-1000

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Jean F. Maguire
Area Director

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