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NY 813376

August 29, 1995

CLA-2-04:S:N:N7:231 813376


TARIFF NO.: 0406.90.9500; 0406.90.9700

Mr. Amilcar Cascais
Triunfo Import and Export Food Corporation 35-37 Liberty Street
Newark, NJ 07102

RE: The tariff classification of Casteloes cheese from Portugal.

Dear Mr. Cascais:

In your letter, dated August 3, 1995, you have requested a tariff classification ruling.

The product is Casteloes cheese. The item is in the form of a wheel. A small loaf measures 10.5-11.0 centimeters (4.1-4.3 inches) in diameter, and 5.0-6.0 centimeters (2.0-2.4 inches) in height. A large loaf measures 14- 14.5 centimeters (5.5-5.7 inches) in diameter, and 5.5-6.0 centimeters (2.2- 2.4 inches) in height. The crust is whole, well formed, and has a fine texture. The exterior of the cheese is yellow in color, and it has a soft consistency. The interior of the cheese has a closed texture and some eye formation, and it is easy to cut and greasy. The interior has a uniform color, white to pale yellow. The cheese does not have a prominent crust formed on the exterior surface as a result of curing or ripening by biological curing agents such as molds, yeasts or other microorganisms, and it is not a soft-ripening variety.

The product is made from pasteurized cow's milk. In your correspondance you indicate that the cheese will contain, by weight, a vacuum drying moisture content of 36.6 percent, and 35.49 percent fat by hydrolysis (55.98 percent on a dry basis).

The applicable subheading for the Casteloes cheese, if imported in quantities that fall within the limits described in additional U.S. note 16 to chapter 4, will be 0406.90.9500, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for cheese and curd, other cheese, other cheeses, and substitutes for cheese, including mixtures of the above, other, including mixtures of the above, other, other, containing cow's milk (except soft-ripened cow's milk cheese), described in additional U.S. note 16 to chapter 4 and entered pursuant to its provisions. The rate of duty will be 10 percent ad valorem. If the quantitative limits of additional U.S. note 16 to chapter 4 have been reached, the product will be classified in subheading 0406.90.9700, HTS, and will be dutiable at US $1.731 per kilogram. In addition, products classified in subheading 0406.90.9700, HTS, will be subject to additional duties based on their value, as described in subheadings 9904.06.38 - 9904.06.49, HTS.

An import license, issued to the importer by the United States Department of Agriculture, will be required at the time such merchandise is entered for consumption into the United States.

Questions regarding licensing procedures and applications for licenses to import cheese subject to quota should be addressed to:

U.S. Department of Agriculture
Foreign Agricultural Service
Import Policies and Trade Analysis Division Att: Dairy Import Group, Rm. 5531, So. Bldg. Washington, DC 20250-1000

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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