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HQ 959210

June 2, 1997

CLA-2 RR:TC:FC 959210 RC


TARIFF NO.: 1604.19.2000

Mr. Robert Hartman
William A. Flegenheimer
11048 South La Cienega Boulevard
Inglewood, California 90304

RE: Reconsideration and Modification of New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 810216; Frozen, Broiled Eel Fillets

Dear Mr. Hartman:

This is in reference to NYRL 810216, dated May 16, 1995, issued to you on behalf of Marubeni America Corporation, Seattle, Washington, concerning the classification of frozen, broiled eel fillets. In NYRL 810216, Customs found that the eel was classifiable under 1604.20.6010, HTSUSA, the provision for prepared or preserved fish; caviar and caviar substitutes prepared from fish eggs, other prepared or preserved fish, other, other, pre-cooked and frozen. This letter is to inform you that NYRL 810216 no longer reflects the views of the U.S. Customs Service. The following represents our position and modifies that ruling.


The subject merchandise is frozen, broiled eel fillets (Kabayaki Unagi). The eel has been sliced down the middle into fillets and prepared with soy sauce, sugar, rice wine, caramel color, monosodium glutamate, and starch. No oil is added to the product. The product is packaged in airtight containers (vacuum packed).

Pursuant to section 625, Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993), notice of the proposed modification of NYRL 810216 was published on April 30, 1997, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 31, Number 18.


Whether the frozen, broiled eel fillets are classifiable under subheading 1604.19.2000, HTSUSA, as fish, whole or in pieces, but not minced; or under subheading 1604.20.6010, HTSUSA, as other prepared or preserved fish.


Classification under the HTSUSA is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). The systematic detail of the harmonized system is such that virtually all goods 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 HTSUSA by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRIs.

Heading 1604, HTSUS, provides for "Prepared or preserved fish . . . whole or in pieces, but not minced." The ENs to heading 1604 indicate that among other items, the heading covers fish prepared or preserved in oil, and that the products remain classified in the heading whether or not they are put up in airtight containers.

Upon review of NYRL 810216, we find that it is incorrect. The frozen, broiled eel fillets are more specifically provided for in subheading 1604.19.2000, HTSUSA, as fish, whole or in pieces, but not minced rather than in subheading 1604.20.6010, HTSUSA, as other prepared or preserved fish.


The frozen, broiled eel fillets fall into subheading 1604.19.2000, HTSUSA, the provision for "Prepared or preserved fish; caviar and caviar substitutes prepared from fish eggs: Fish, whole or in pieces, but not minced: Other (including yellowtail): In airtight containers: Not in oil: Other." Dutiable at 5.2 percent ad valorem.

NYRL 810216 is modified.

In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625, this ruling will become effective 60 days from its publication in the Customs Bulletin. Publication of rulings or decisions pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1625 does not constitute a change of practice or position in accordance with section 177.10(c)(1), Customs Regulations (19 CFR


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification

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