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HQ 956917

December 8, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 956917 GGD


TARIFF NO.: 0303.60.0090

Ms. Eiko Vojkovich
Arctic Alaska Fisheries Corporation
1900 West Nickerson Street, Suite 200
Seattle, Washington 98119

RE: Pacific Cod Heads; Edible Fish Products

Dear Ms. Vojkovich:

This letter is in response to your inquiry of October 24, 1994, concerning the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of fish heads of the species Pacific cod (Gadus Macrocephalus), and parts thereof. It is our understanding that the product will be frozen. The merchandise will be used for human consumption as an ingredient in various traditional seafood preparations, such as fish soup.


The Pacific cod fish are taken from the waters of the north Pacific. The cod heads, and parts thereof (including tongues and cheeks), will be inspected and verified as suitable for use in human food preparations, in accordance with the Seafood Inspection Program, United States Department of Commerce.


What is the proper classification of the Pacific cod heads?


Classification under the HTSUS is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). The systematic detail of the harmonized system is such that virtually all goods -2-
are classified by application of GRI 1, that is, according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative Section or Chapter Notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRIs may then be applied. The Explanatory Notes (ENs) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, which represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, facilitate classification under the HTSUS by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRIs.

Chapter 3, HTSUS, covers fish and crustaceans, molluscs and other aquatic invertebrates. Note 1(b) to chapter 3, states that "[t]his chapter does not cover: Fish...dead and unfit or unsuitable for human consumption by reason of either their species or their condition (chapter 5)." The ENs to chapter 3, indicate that the chapter covers all fish, whether live or dead, presented for direct consumption, or for industrial purposes (canning, etc.).

Heading 0303, HTSUS, covers frozen fish, excluding fish fillets and other fish meat of heading 0304. Subheading 0303.60.0090, HTSUSA, provides for frozen cod, other than Atlantic cod, excluding livers and roes. We find that the Pacific cod heads, properly prepared for human consumption, are correctly classified in this provision. However, fish heads as products of fish, unless they are proven suitable for human consumption in accordance with food inspection standards, are classified under heading 0511, HTSUS, which covers "Animal products not elsewhere specified or included; dead animals of Chapter 1 or 3, unfit for human consumption."


The goods identified as Pacific cod heads, and parts thereof, are properly classified in subheading 0303.60.0090, HTSUSA, the provision for "Fish, frozen, excluding fish fillets and other fish meat of heading 0304: Cod (Gadus morhua, Gadus ogac, Gadus macrocephalus), excluding livers and roes, Other." The applicable duty rate is free.


John Durant, Director

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