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NY 888788

August 4, 1993



TARIFF NO.: 0902.10.9000; 0902.30.0090

Ms. Gabriella Karsch
The Indochina Tea Company
PO Box 1032
Studio City, CA 91614-0032

RE: The tariff classification of various teas from Vietnam.

Dear Ms. Karsch:

In your letter dated June 16, 1993, with additional information supplied in a letter dated July 22, 1993, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Your query concerns the classification of various teas from Vietnam. The tea will be packaged in two sizes of metal canisters, one holding 500 grams, the other holding 125 grams, as well as a gusseted foil bag holding 100 grams. The tea in question will be black, black scented (Rose Congou), oolong, oolong scented (Jasmine and Lotus) and green. The tea will all be full leaf loose tea, not tea bags. As your letter indicates, you are aware that products of Vietnam are currently not permitted to be imported into the United States.

The applicable subheading for the black and oolong teas, both scented and non-scented, will be 0902.30.0090, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for black tea (fermented) and partly fermented tea, in immediate packings of a content not exceeding 3 kg... other. The duty rate will be free.

The applicable subheading for the green tea will be 0902.10.9000, HTS, which provides for green tea (not fermented) in immediate packings of a content not exceeding 3 kg...other. The duty rate will be free.

However, all immediate containers and wrappings, and all intermediate containers, of tea in packages of less than 2.3 kilograms, net, each are dutiable at the rates applicable to such containers and wrappings if imported empty.

Additionally, tea, classifiable under subheading 0902.30.0090 or 0902.10.9000, HTS, is subject to the provisions of the Import Tea Act (21 USC 41-50). The act requires that a tea examination fee of 3.5 cents per hundred weight or fraction thereof be collected from each entry at the time of entry. It further requires that each entry be sampled, examined and released by a permit signed by a qualified tea examiner. It requires, too, that a Tea Chop List and Release Permit (FD Form 1824) be submitted with each entry.

Additional requirements may be imposed on this product by the Food and Drug Administration. You may contact the FDA at:

Food and Drug Administration Guidelines and Regulations Branch HFF 314, 200 C Street, S.W. Washington, D.C. 20204

Your inquiry does not provide enough information for us to give a classification ruling on the metal canisters or foil bags. Your request for a classification ruling should identify the metal from which these items are made (aluminum, tin, steel, etc.), and whether or not there is any other packaging material inside the canister, such as paper, cellophane, etc. If you have further questions regarding the packing materials for the tea, please refer them to National Import Specialist James Smyth of this office at (212) 466-2084.

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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