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HQ 955977

May 25, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 955977 ASM


TARIFF NO.: 1902.19.2000

Ms. Linda Stohr
Linda Stohr Customhouse Broker
P.O. Box 7043
Long Beach, CA 90807-0043

RE: Request for tariff classification of two types of noodle products from Taiwan

Dear Ms. Stohr:

This letter is in response to your request for a tariff classification of two types of noodles, products of Taiwan, which you intend to import into the United States.


The products are flat, yellow noodles, approximately 1/16- inch wide and 1/32-inch thick, made from wheat flour, water and salt. The ingredients are mixed into a dough that is pressed and formed into the desired noodle shape, placed into a mold and dried, in a two-stage process, for several hours. One noodle variety will be subjected to steam treatment for three to five seconds before drying.


What is the correct tariff classification for these two types of noodle products called "Chuka Soba Noodle?"


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 section and chapter 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.

Noodles made from flour are classified in heading 1902, HTSUSA, as "Pasta, whether or not cooked or stuffed (with meat or other substances) or otherwise prepared, such as spaghetti, macaroni, noodles,... whether or not prepared." Uncooked noodles, not stuffed or otherwise prepared and not containing eggs, fall in subheading 1902.19, HTSUSA.

Clearly, the non-steamed noodles meet all the requirements of subheading 1902.19, HTSUSA, and should be classified as such. However, it must be determined whether the steamed noodles have been prepared in a manner which would preclude classification under a subheading that specifies "uncooked" and "not...otherwise prepared.".

The steaming of the noodle product does affect the appearance of the product, in that the steamed noodle's color is not as bright as the non-steamed article. In addition, the steamed noodle is firmer and less fragile than the non-steamed product. This three to five second steaming process could also be used to par-boil or partially pre-cook the noodle. Such an indication of pre-cooking would be revealed by a noticeable reduction or modification of the noodle's required cooking time.

According to the information provided, there is no difference in the cooking requirements for the two types of noodles. Both the steamed and non-steamed product must be cooked in boiling water for approximately four minutes. Thus, it is our determination that the purpose of this extremely brief steaming process (three to five seconds) is to protect the product from breakage and to better secure the shape of the noodle but does not constitute cooking or otherwise preparing the article within the meaning of the tariff language.


The products known as steamed and non-steamed "Chuka Soba Noodle" are classified in subheading 1902.19.2000, HTSUSA, which provides for "Uncooked pasta, not stuffed or otherwise prepared: Other: Exclusively pasta" duty free at the general column one rate.


John Durant, Director

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