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HQ 954918

December 22, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 954918 ASM


TARIFF NO.: 2106.90.6585

Mr. Dan Ungar
Ungar Consultation & Inspection Services
Foods, Drugs & Cosmetics
30 Lafayette Drive
Woodmere, NY 11598

RE: Request for tariff classification of hard candies containing sorbitol and mannitol

Dear Mr. Ungar:

This letter is in response to your request for a tariff classification of hard candy which you intend to import into the United States.


The product under consideration is a hard candy which is packaged under the name of "Sula Sugar Free Forest Fruits." The product consists of 3/4-inch discs of individually-wrapped hard candies, packed for retail sale in a sealed plastic pouch. The packaged weight is indicated as 60 grams net weight.

The ingredients, as stated on the package, are: sorbitol syrup; thickener - gum arabic; citric and lactic acids; natural blackberry, raspberry and strawberry flavorings; natural colorings - beet-root red and concentrated grape juice; vitamin C. The label indicates that for each 100 grams, the product contains 89 grams sorbitol and 4 grams mannitol.


What is the correct tariff classification for these hard candies packaged under the name of "Sula Sugar Free Forest Fruits" and sweetened with sorbitol and mannitol?


Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). As stated in GRI 1, the classification is determined first in accordance with the terms of the headings which must be read in conjunction with the relative notes. If GRI 1 fails to classify the goods and if the heading and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's are applied in their appropriate order. The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (EN's), facilitate classification under the HTSUSA by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRI's.

According to the product label, "Sula" fruit drops contain 89 percent sorbitol and 4 percent mannitol. Thus, almost 90 percent of each "Sula" fruit drop is comprised of sorbitol. Although you note in your request that sorbitol and mannitol are present in various natural substances, the tariff classification of products containing sorbitol is clear. Under the Harmonized System, sorbitol is considered a "synthetic" sweetener. See, e.g., EN 17.04, exclusion (d).

Here, sorbitol, a synthetically produced chemical, has been mixed with other foodstuffs and substances with nutritive values: natural blackberry, raspberry and strawberry flavorings; natural colorings; concentrated grape juice; vitamin C. Nevertheless, this product cannot be classified under the heading for sugar confectionery in Chapter 17, because the EN's for this heading specifically exclude confections containing synthetic sweetening agents such as sorbitol. In this instance, however, the subject merchandise is classified under subheading 2106.90.6585, HTSUSA, which is the provision for food preparations not elsewhere specified or included, for confectionery containing synthetic sweetening agents. The EN to 2106, note (9), confirms that this heading includes sweets containing synthetic sweeteners.


The product known as "Sula Sugar Free Forest Fruits" is classified in subheading 2106.90.6585, HTSUSA, which provides for food preparations not elsewhere specified or included, other, confectionery (including gum) containing synthetic sweetening agents (e.g., saccharin) instead of sugar, dutiable at the general column one rate of 10 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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