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HQ 954278

November 9,1993
CLA-2 CO:CR:C:F 954278 JGH


TARIFF NO.: 1701.99.01 1701.99.02

Mr. Joel C. Williams
Savannah Foods & Industries, Inc.
P.O. Box 339
Savannah, Georgia 31402

RE: Classification of a sugar-kieselguhr (diatomaceous earth) blend under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).

Dear Mr. Williams:

Your letter of February 24, 1993, to Customs at Detroit requests a classification of a sugar-kieselguhr blend.


You state that you intend to import a blend composed of 89% soluble granulated sucrose and 11% kieselguhr, a diatomaceous earth. This blend is said to be specifically designed for use in mechanical filtration systems as both a membrane filter media and a media carrying agent. The product will be combined with hot water in a one-to-one ratio to dissolve the sucrose portion of the blend, which acts as a viscous carrying agent for the diatomaceous earth. The mixture would then be agitated and circulated through a mechanical filter press whereby the diatomaceous earth will be deposited on the filter's membrane; the mixture would be circulated until the discharge from the filter is clear, indicating that all of the diatomaceous earth has been deposited. The filtration system is said to be designed to filter any solutions containing insoluble foreign material.

The dissolved sugar is described as exiting the filtration circulation loop to the next downstream process after the kieselguhr has been deposited on the filter plates and the sucrose-kieselguhr solution is clear. The sugar which has been removed from the solution is considered edible.


Classification of a sugar-kieselguhr blend under the HTSUS. - 2 -


It is claimed that the mixture, following GRI 3(b), is classifiable according to its essential character; and as its essential character is believed to be the kieselguhr, classification should fall under subheading 2512.00.000, HTSUS, which covers siliceous fossil meals (for example, kieselguhr, tripolite and diatomite) and similar siliceous earths, whether or not calcined, of an apparent specific gravity of 1 or less.

We agree that the essential character of the mixture should be considered in classifying the product; however, we are of the opinion that the essential character of the mixture is imparted by the sugar, not the kieselguhr. It cannot be ignored that the sugar makes up close to 90 percent of the mixture and is capable of being used as a sweetener after being removed from the filtration process. In fact, kieselguhr has a separate function as a filtering agent, and is used as such in the refining process; with the sugar being the product refined.


The refined sugar-diatomaceous blend, described above, is classifiable, following GRI 3 (b), HTSUS, according to its essential character, which is sugar. Therefore, the blend is classifiable under 1701.99.01, HTSUS, if described in paragraphs (a) and (b) of additional note 3, Chapter 17, HTSUS, and entered pursuant to its provisions; and under 1701.99.02, HTSUS, if not described in the U.S. Note. In either case, an additional Agricultural fee of 2.2 cents per kilogram is assessed under subheading 9904.40.20, HTSUS. Furthermore, since the refining of sugar does not result in a substantial transformation of the sugar, the refined sugar remains a product of the country producing the sugar.


John Durant, Director

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