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NY 801527

September 16, 1994



TARIFF NO.: 1602.90.9080

Mr. David Greenberg
G. Lauzon Inc.
5500 C“te de Liesse
Ville Mont-Royal, Qu‚bec H4P 1A8

RE: The tariff classification of seasoned, cubed, bone-in mutton from Canada.

Dear Mr. Greenberg:

In your letter dated August 25, 1995, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The product in question will be produced from mutton slaughtered in various countries,--namely, in Australia and New Zealand. This meat will be imported into Canada in the form of frozen mutton carcasses. When processed in Canada, the frozen mutton carcasses are placed on a cutting table and cut into 2 inch strips the entire length of the carcass. The strips are fed into a dicing machine which will complete the cube by cutting again at 2 inches. The product is then fed into a vacuum blending machine where the seasoning (2% salt and 1% pepper) is added by weight. This blending operation continues until all of the seasoning is absorbed into the product (approx. 8 minutes for 2000 lbs.). After mixing, the seasoned mutton pieces are discharged into poly bags holding 10 pounds each. These bags are then placed into boxes (4/5 bags per box) and sold by the truck loads to distributors.

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

The "General" notes to Chapter 16 in the Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Tariff describe various products within the scope of this 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 processes not provided for in Chapter 2 or 3, for example, products which have been:


(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." Bold-face supplied for emphasis.

In our opinion, the addition and blending of 2 percent, by weight, of salt and one percent, by weight, of pepper with the cubed boned-in mutton, as described, constitutes a processing of this frozen mutton beyond the levels permitted by the headings of chapter 2 in that it creates a "seasoned" product, as enumerated in the "General" notes, cited above. Accordingly, this seasoned mutton is properly classifiable as a product of chapter 16.

The applicable subheading for this seasoned cubed bone-in mutton will be 1602.90.9080, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for Other prepared or preserved meat, meat offal or blood:...Other, including preparations of blood of any animal:...Other:...:...Other. The general rate of duty rate will be 10 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
New York Seaport

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