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HQ 952252

Dec 28,1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 952252 JGH


TARIFF NO.: 2001.90.6000

Mr. Richard J. Sullivan
Association of Food Industries, Inc.
5 Ravine Drive
P.O. Box 776
Matawan, NJ 07747

RE: Classification of Canned Baby Corn

Dear Mr. Sullivan:

Your letter of July 14, 1992, concerns the tariff classification of canned baby corn prepared or preserved by vinegar or acetic acid, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).


You state that the members of your organization import virtually all the canned pickled baby corn and that it is regarded as a vegetable; a view which you think is supported by both the dictionary definition and the opinion of Department of Agriculture authorities. Although you note that the classification of canned baby corn was considered by HRL 088697, you feel that since the product considered was preserved by a different method, that ruling is not controlling.


Whether canned pickled baby corn is classifiable under the provision for other vegetables, prepared or preserved by vinegar or acetic acid, in subheading 2001.90.3900, HTSUS, or other edible parts of plants preserved by vinegar or acetic acid in 2001.90.6000, HTSUS.


While you may consider the method of preservation the determinative factor in the classification of the baby corn in HRL 088697, a careful reading of that decision shows that the - 2 -
nature of the product itself was decisive. Although baby corn may be popularly considered a vegetable, for tariff purposes it is not.

Customs, of course, often relies on dictionary definitions and the opinions of experts in reaching its decisions; however, as you are aware, the Explanatory Notes to the HTSUS provide an interpretation of the provisions of the tariff on the international level, which Customs can not ignore; and more importantly, the chapter notes to the individual chapters of the HTSUS provide legal definitions of the various products included in a chapter. Chapter 7, HTSUS, covers "Edible Vegetables And Certain Roots and Tubers". Note 2 to that Chapter states that the word "vegetables" in headings Nos. 07.09 (fresh leguminous vegetables), 07.10 (vegetable,frozen), 07.11 (vegetables, provisionally preserved), 07.12 (Dried Vegetables) includes specific types of vegetables, and the only form of corn mentioned is sweet corn (Zea Mays var. zaccharata), a definition which does not include "baby corn." The Explanatory Notes to heading 2001, HTSUS, covering vegetables and other edible plants, prepared or preserved by vinegar or acetic acid, mention that sweet corn is the type of corn classified as a vegetable in 2001.90.39, HTSUS, regardless of the type of preservation.

The Explanatory Notes to Chapter 10 "Cereals" specifically state that this chapter covers corn "other than sweet corn of chapter 7". Canned baby corn is made from nonsweet corn varieties. Thus, for tariff purposes, regardless of how "logical" it may be to define corn as a vegetable, under the HTSUS, canned corn, other than sweet corn, is not considered a vegetable, but rather is an edible part of a plant.


Canned "pickled" baby corn is classified under the provision for other edible parts of plants, prepared or preserved by vinegar or acetic acid, in subheading 2001.90.60, HTSUS.


John Durant, Director

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