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NY 891907

November 5, 1993



TARIFF NO.: 1602.50.6000

Mr. Ben Walderman
Belmont Meat Products Ltd.
230 Signet Drive
Weston, Ontario M9L 1V2

RE: The tariff classification of frozen and seasoned boneless BEEF from Canada.

Dear Mr. Walderman:

In your letter dated October 27, 1993, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The product in question will be produced from beef cattle slaughtered in various countries,--namely, in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Nicaragua or in the United States. From countries other than the United States and Canada, this meat will be imported into Canada in the form of frozen boneless beef. Meat from the United States would be imported fresh or frozen.

When processed in Canada, the blocks of frozen beef are placed in a "Weiler" brand fresh frozen block grinder, model #1109, in which the meat would be forced through a grinding plate with holes of one or two inches in diameter, or less. The range of piece sizes will vary from finger size pieces to pieces weighing few pounds each. These cut pieces will then be loaded into batches of 50 pounds, with one percent salt and one-half percent black pepper added. Each batch will be blended until all the seasonings have been dispersed on, and thoroughly absorbed by, the individual meat pieces.

During processing, the meat is maintained at a temperature as close to, or below, freezing temperature as possible to prevent bacterial growth and oxidation of the hemoglobin. After processing, the meat is immediately packed into shipping containers at temperatures of 26 degrees to 28 degrees Fahrenheit and shipped per customers' orders. For orders of frozen beef, the meat is held long enough to reduce the temperature to 0 degrees Fahrenheit prior to export to the United States. Product will be shipped in paper board poly-lined combo bins weighing approximately one thousand pounds or packed in export cartons of about 50 to 60 pounds, net, each.

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-half percent, by weight, of pepper with 50 pounds of ground beef pieces, as described, constitutes a processing of this frozen beef 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 beef is properly classifiable as a product of chapter 16.

The applicable subheading for this frozen, seasoned BEEF will be 1602.50.6000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for Other prepared or preserved meat, meat offal or blood:...Of bovine animals:...Other:...Not containing cereals or other vegetables:...Other:...Other. The rate of duty Goods classifiable under subheading 1602.50.6000, HTS, which have originated in the territory of Canada, will be entitled to a FREE rate of duty under the United States-Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA) upon compliance with all applicable regulations. Eligibility for preferential duty treatment under the United States-Canada FTA, in cases where goods classified in Chapter 16 contain non-originating materials, is conferred by a change from one chapter to another [General Note 3(c)(vii)(R)(4)(aa), General Notes to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, Annotated]. In the instant case, non- qualifying frozen, boneless beef, a product of Chapter 2 when imported into Canada and, there, processed into seasoned beef of Chapter 16, has undergone a change in classification from one chapter to another and would be considered qualifying goods.

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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