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NY 892292

November 17, 1993

CLA-2-16:S:N:N7:229 892292


TARIFF NO.: 1602.50.6000

Mr. David Greenberg, Project Manager
T. Lauzon Lt?e.
5500 C?te de Liesse
Ville Mont-Royal, Qu?bec H4P 1A8

RE: The tariff classification of frozen, ground BEEF, seasoned with one percent salt and over two percent of a spice mix, from Canada.

Dear Mr. Greenberg:

In your letter dated July 21, 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 in the United States. From countries other than the United States and Canada, this meat will be imported into Canada in the form of frozen boneless beef. Meat from the United States would be imported fresh or frozen.

When processed in Canada, the blocks of frozen beef are placed on a conveyer belt and fed into a grinder with a one-half inch plate. After grinding, the meat pieces are fed into a vacuum blender in lots of three thousand pounds. Seasoning ingredients, in the amount of one percent by weight of salt and over two percent by weight of a spice mix, will be added to the blender with the meat pieces; and all ingredients will be vacuum blended to assure that the seasonings will be fully dispersed on, and thoroughly absorbed by, the individual meat pieces. The spice mix consists of a mixture of dextrose, dehydrated onion, dehydrated red and green bell pepper, dehydrated parsley, onion powder, garlic powder and spice extractives. The seasoned product is verified for its chemical lean grading and then fed into boxes of not more than 60 pounds each. These boxes are put into a blast freezer, where the temperature is quickly lowered to 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

The classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, Annotated, is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation. 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 to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, which represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, facilitate classification under the Harmonized Tariff by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and the General Rules.

The "General" notes to Chapter 16 in the Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Tariff describe various products within the scope of this chapter:

"This Chapter covers prepared foodstuffs obtained by processing meat, meat offal, (e.g., feet, skins, hearts, tongues, livers, guts, stomachs), blood, fish (including skins thereof), crustaceans, molluscs or other aquatic invertebrates. The Chapter covers such products which have been prepared or preserved by processes not provided for in Chapter 2 or 3, for example, products which have been:


(3) Prepared or preserved in the form of extracts, juices or marinades, prepared from fish eggs as caviar or caviar substitutes, merely covered with batter or bread crumbs, truffled, seasoned (e.g., with both pepper and salt), etc." Bold-face supplied for emphasis.

In our opinion, the addition and blending of one percent, by weight, of salt and over two percent, by weight, of the spice mix with the ground beef pieces, as described, constitutes a processing of this frozen beef beyond the levels permitted by the headings of chapter 2 in that it creates a "seasoned" product, as enumerated in the "General" notes, cited above. Accordingly, this seasoned beef is properly classifiable as a product of chapter 16.

The applicable subheading for this frozen, ground BEEF, seasoned with one percent salt and over 2 percent spice mix, will be 1602.50.6000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for Other prepared or preserved meat, meat offal or blood:...Of bovine animals:...Other:...Not containing cereals or other vegetables:...Other:...Other. The rate of duty rate will be 4 percent ad valorem.

Goods classifiable under subheading 1602.50.6000, HTS, which have originated in the territory of Canada, will be entitled to a FREE rate of duty under the United States-Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA) upon compliance with all applicable regulations. Eligibility for preferential duty treatment under the United States-Canada FTA, in cases where goods classified in Chapter 16 contain non-originating materials, is conferred by a change from one chapter to another [General Note 3(c)(vii)(R)(4)(aa), General Notes to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, Annotated]. In the instant case, non- qualifying frozen, boneless beef, a product of Chapter 2 when imported into Canada and, there, processed into seasoned beef of Chapter 16, has undergone a change in classification from one chapter to another and would be considered qualifying goods.

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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