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NY 886277

June 11, 1993



TARIFF NO.: 0202.30.6000

Mr. Martin A. Bell, President
Bellboy Corporation
2220 Florida Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55426

RE: The tariff classification of frozen BONELESS BEEF from Canada.

Dear Mr. Bell:

In your letter dated May 11, 1993, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The product in question will be produced from beef cattle slaughtered in various countries,--namely, in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Scotland or the United States. After slaughter, carcass beef will be deboned and the primal cuts and/or trimmings derived from primal cuts will be pack and frozen and, then, (if not of Canadian origin), exported to Canada. In Canada, the meat will be thawed to a temperature of 26 to 28 degrees Fahrenheit, prior to chopping in a guillotine or centrifugal cutting machine. The cutting machine is set to cut pieces of approximately one inch in thickness. However, due to muscle strata, each slice may vary in height, breadth and weight. Individual piece sizes will vary from finger sizes to sizes of up to a few pounds,--you indicate a weight range from two ounces to two and a half pounds. After cutting, you state that the meat will be salted with two percent minimum salt, dispersed evenly on the meat pieces. The salt will be applied by shaking salt over a conveyor packing area, while turning the meat to salt all sides and edges.

The meat is maintained at a temperature of 26 to 28 degrees throughout the cutting and salting processes. After salting, it is immediately packed into shipping containers and shipped at either 0 degrees Fahrenheit or 26 to 28 degrees Fahrenheit, as directed by the U.S. customer. The balance of the weight of the salt will be added to the packing carton. Meat shipped frozen is stored in cold storage long enough to reduce the temperature to 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Meat shipped at 26 to 28 degrees Fahrenheit is shipped immediately. All product will be shipped in paperboard poly lined combo bins weighing approximately in excess of a thousand pounds or packed in 50 pound poly lined cartons.

You request a ruling classifying this BONELESS BEEF with added salt as a product of Chapter 16. We do not believe such classification would be appro- priate.

The classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). The first General Rule requires that the classification of goods be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. The Explanatory Notes (EN) 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 the General Rules.

The General Notes to Chapter 2, in the Explanatory Notes on that Chapter, distinguishes the products included in this chapter from those of Chapter 16, noting on page 14 that

"This Chapter covers meat and meat offal in the following states only, whether or not they have been previously scalded or similarly treated but not cooked:

(1) Fresh (including meat and meat offal, packed with salt as a temporary preservative during transport). (2) Chilled, that is, reduced in temperature generally to around 0o C, without being frozen.
(3) Frozen, that is, cooled to below the product's freezing point until it is frozen throughout.
(4) Salted, in brine, dried or smoked."

Based on this Note, it would appear that meat which has been salted, whether lightly or heavily, is classifiable in Chapter 2. For example, fresh meat, packed with salt as a temporary preservative during transport, is not a heavily salted product but is included by the Explanatory Notes as a product of Chapter 2. Accordingly, the instant product, sprinkled and packed with salt in a chilled or frozen condition, would also be classified in Chapter 2.

Heading 02.10 of the Harmonized Tariff provides, inter alia, for

"Meat and edible meat offal, salted, in brine, dried or smoked".

The Explanatory Notes to the Combined Nomenclature of the European Communities, published as a guide to classification in the subheadings of the European Community's Harmonized Tariff, interprets the term "salted," as used in heading 02.10, to include product preserved by salting. These Notes state, with regard to the period of preservation, that, "[a]lthough this method of preservation is normally used as a temporary measure, the period of such preservation must considerably exceed the time required for transportation. Meat merely sprinkled with salt in order to ensure its preservation while being transported remains classified as fresh meat." Accordingly, the instant product, which is similar to fresh beef sprinkled and packed in salt, is classifiable as frozen beef.

The applicable subheading for frozen BONELESS BEEF, sprinkled with 2 percent salt, will be 0202.30.6000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for Meat of bovine animals, frozen: Boneless:...Other. The rate of duty will be 4.4 cents per kilogram.

Finally, meat which has been processed as described above remains a product of that country in which the animal was slaughtered. Accordingly, beef imported into Canada from other countries, and there processed by the addition of 2 percent salt, may be subject to an absolute quota under the provisions of Public Law 88-482, as amended. Frozen beef from Australia and New Zealand, which is classified in heading 02.02, HTS, may only be entered into the United States--effective April 8, 1993 to the end of the calendar year--,if imported as a direct shipment destined to the United States on an original through bill of lading from Australia or New Zealand, pursuant to Section 204 of the Agriculture Act of 1956, as amended, (7 USC 1854) and Executive Order 11539, as amended.

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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