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NY 892080

November 17, 1993



TARIFF NO.: 1602.50.6000

Mr. Paul Langs
Qualico Foods, Inc.
21 Brockley Drive
Stoney Creek, Ontario L8E 3C3

RE: The tariff classification of frozen BEEF, flaked or sliced, and seasoned with 1 percent salt and 2 percent allspice, from Canada.

Dear Mr. Langs:

In your letter dated October 28, 1993, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The product in question will be prepared from frozen boneless beef imported into Canada from Australia, New Zealand and other source countries.

When processed in Canada, a number of 50 to 60 pound cartons of frozen boneless beef will be removed from storage at 5 degrees Fahrenheit and placed in a tempering room at 35 degrees Fahrenheit overnight (about 8 hours). After tempering, the frozen blocks, at 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit, will be fed into a flaker. The flaker will process up to 3 blocks a minute. Each time the cutting knife drops, a slice of meat is removed from the face of the block in the form of a slab measuring one inch by 14 inches by six inches. This slab generally breaks into three or four pieces as it falls onto a conveyor belt which carries it to the mixer/blender,--although you state in your letter that, in your experience, you find about 60 percent fines in this product, with 30 percent not more than one inch by two inches by two inches and ten percent random larger pieces.

To each batch of meat in the blender, one percent salt and two percent allspice will be applied evenly to all exposed surfaces and the product mixed thoroughly until all the seasonings have been dispersed on, and thoroughly absorbed by, the individual meat pieces.

After processing, the meat will be discharged into poly-lined cartons of about 60 pounds, net, and stored at minus 5 degrees Fahrenheit.

This flaked and seasoned beef is said to be used only for further processing,--for example, for use in the manufacture of such products as meat balls, patties, nuggets and sausage.

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 one percent, by weight, of salt and two percent, by weight, of allspice with the flaked 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 BEEF, flaked or sliced, and seasoned with 1 percent salt and 2 percent allspice, 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 contain-ing cereals or vegetables:...Other:...Other. The rate of duty will be 4 percent ad valorem.

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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