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NY 803933

November 15, 1994

CLA-2-02:S:N:N7:231 803933


TARIFF NO.: 0202.30.4000; 1602.50.6000

Mr. Nashir Vasanji
Centennial Food Corp.
4043 Brandon Street S.E.,
Calgary, Alberta T2G 4A7

RE: The tariff classification of beef patties from Canada.

Dear Mr. Vasanji:

In your letter, dated November 3, 1994, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The products are "Super Club Patties" and "Gourmet Beef Patties."

"Super Club Patties" are produced in 2 ounce, 4 ounce, and 6 ounce sizes. They contain 25 percent beef, 50.6 percent beef hearts, 12.4 percent water, 7.5 percent binder, 3.7 percent textured vegetable protein, and .8 percent tapioca. The beef is comprised of 50 percent Canadian beef, and 50 percent Australian, frozen, boneless beef. The beef hearts are all American or Canadian. The textured vegetable protein improves the cooking quality, texture, and moisture retention of the product.

The processing is performed thus: Frozen beef is tempered in a tempering cooler at 32 degrees Fahrenheit using spacers in between the cases. Blocks of tempered beef and fresh beef are ground through a one inch hole coarse grinder plate. The meat is then mixed in a mixer grinder for a controlled amount of time. The mix is analyzed for fat content and any adjustment that is required is carried out by the addition of lean beef or trimmings. The meat is further mixed for a controlled amount of time and temperature (32-34 degrees F), and ground through a 0.125 inch hole grinder plate. The ground beef is then processed through pattie forming machines. The patties are scored and interleaved using scoring and interleaving machines. The patties are frozen through a cryogenic process.

"Gourmet Beef Patties" are produced in 4 ounce and 6 ounce sizes. They contain 80-83 percent beef, 12-13 percent water, and 5-7 percent spice mix. The beef is comprised of 60 percent Canadian beef, and 40 percent Australian, frozen, boneless beef. The spice mix contains cracker meal, isolated soy protein, salt, mustard, and hydrolized plant protein.

Processing of "Gourmet Beef Patties" is similar to that of "Super Club Patties."

Packaging of "Gourmet Beef Patties" is done thus: The frozen patties are interleaved with patty paper, and packed into corrugated cartons that are lined with a plastic liner. The retail boxes are wrapped with a clear shrink film which is shrunk in a shrink tunnel. These retail boxes are packed into master cases before being tape sealed and labeled. The master cases are placed in a blast freezer, and held there until they are shipped.

The classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, Annotated (HTSUSA) 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 by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and the General Rules.

The Explanatory Notes, General Note to Chapter 2 states:

This Chapter covers meat and meat offal in the following states only, whether or not they have been previously scalded or similarly treated but not cooked:

1) Fresh (including meat and meat offal, packed with salt as a temporary preservative during transport).

2) Chilled, that is, reduced in temperature generally to around 0 degrees C, without being frozen.

3) Frozen, that is, cooled to below the product's freezing point until it is frozen throughout.

4) Salted, in brine, dried or smoked.

Meat and meat offal, slightly sprinkled with sugar or with an aqueous solution of sugar are also classified in this Chapter.

Meat and meat offal in the states referred to in Items (1) to (4) above remain classified in this Chapter whether or not they have undergone tenderizing treatment with proteolytic enzymes (e.g., papain) or have been cut, chopped or minced (ground). In addition, mixtures or combinations of products of different headings of the Chapter (e.g., poultry meat of heading 02.07 covered with pig fat of heading 02.09) remain classified in this Chapter.

Based on the foregoing Explanatory Notes, which include in Chapter 2 meat products which have been subjected to various cutting processes, such as cutting, chopping or mincing, "Super Club Patties," which have been similarly subjected to a cutting process, would also be classified in Chapter 2.

The General Notes to Chapter 16 in the Explanatory Notes describe various products within the scope of that 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 processing not provided for in Chapter 2 or 3.

(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.

It is the opinion of this office that the addition to, and blending of, the different spices and other ingredients used in "Gourmet Beef Patties" constitute a processing of this beef beyond the levels permitted by the headings of Chapter 2 in that the process 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 "Super Club Patties" will be 0202.30.4000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for meat of bovine animals, frozen, boneless, processed, other. The general rate of duty will be 10 percent ad valorem.

Meat which has been processed as described above remains a product of that country in which the animal was slaughtered. Beef imported into Canada from other countries may be subject to an absolute quota under the provisions of Public Law 88-482, as amended. Frozen beef from Australia, which is classified in heading 02.02, HTS, may be entered into the United States only if imported as a direct shipment destined to the United States on an original through bill of lading from Australia, pursuant to Section 204 of the Agricultural Act of 1956, as amended (7 USC 1854), and Executive Order 11539, as amended.

The applicable subheading for "Gourmet Beef Patties" will be 1602.50.6000, HTS, which provides for other prepared or preserved meat, meat offal or blood, of bovine animals, other, not containing cereals or vegetables, other, other. The general rate of duty will be 4 percent ad valorem.

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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