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HQ 960235

October 7, 1998

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 960235K


TARIFF NO.: 2106.90.9997

Mr. David Moll
Livingston International, Inc.
352 Sonwil Drive
Buffalo, New York 14225

RE: Modification of New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 817784 Dated January 18, 1996;
Supreme Golden Corn Syrup

Dear Mr. Moll:

In response to your letter of December 15, 1995, on behalf of Nealanders International, Inc., the Customs Service issued to you NYRL 817784, dated January 18, 1996, concerning the tariff classification of a variety of products. One of the products, Supreme Golden Corn Syrup, was classified in subheading 1702.30.4040, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for glucose and glucose syrup, not containing fructose or containing in the dry state less than 20 percent by weight of fructose...other...glucose syrup, with a 1998 general rate of duty of 2.6 cents per kg, and a special free rate for Canada, if applicable. This letter is to inform you that NYRL 817784 no longer reflects the views of the Customs Service for Supreme Golden Corn Syrup and is modified in accordance with section 177.9(d) of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.9(d)).

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), hereinafter, section 625), notice of the proposed modification of NYRL 817784 was published on August 12, 1998, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 32, Number 32. One comment was received in response to the publication. The following represents our position.


The corn syrup contains 90 percent glucose, 5.9 percent water, 3.24 percent sugar, 0.5 percent molasses, 0.2 percent salt, 1 percent potassium sorbate, and 0.06 percent caramel coloring and is packed in one liter bottles. ISSUE:

Whether the corn syrup as described is excluded from heading 1702, HTSUS, because it contains added coloring matter.


The one commenter suggested that the classification of the product is controlled by essential character under rule 3(b), of the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI), HTSUS. The classification of imported merchandise under the HTSUS is governed by the principles set forth in the GRI. GRI 1 requires that classification be determined first according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative section and chapter notes and, unless otherwise required, according to the remaining GRI, taken in their appropriate order. If the classification of the product is controlled by GRI 1, we are precluded from considering the remaining GRI. Accordingly, we first have to determine whether the product is classified under GRI 1 and we conclude that it is.

The competing headings of HTSUS, are stated, as follows;

Heading 1702 provides for other sugars, including chemically pure lactose, maltose, glucose and fructose, in solid form; sugar syrups not containing added flavoring or coloring matter; artificial honey, whether or not mixed with natural honey; caramel.

Heading 2106, HTSUS, provides for food preparations not elsewhere specified of included.

The Explanatory Notes (EN's) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, which represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, facilitate classification under the HTSUS by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and the GRI of the HTSUS. The ENs to chapter 17 on page 138, part (B) Sugar Syrups, state, in pertinent part, as follows;

This part covers syrups of all sugars....provided they do not contain added flavouring or coloring matter (see Explanatory Note to heading 21.06).

The ENs to Chapter 21, on page 171, states that the heading (21.06) includes, inter alia (among other things):

(12) Preparations for the manufacture of lemonades or other beverages, consisting, for example, of :

- flavoured or coloured syrups, being sugar solutions with natural or artificial substances added to give them the flavour of, for example, certain fruits or plants (raspberry, blackcurrant, lemon, mint, etc.), whether or not containing added citric acid and preservatives;

- syrup flavoured with an added compound preparation of this heading (see paragraph (7) above) containing, in particular, either cola essence and citric acid, coloured with caramelised sugar, or citric acid and essential oils of fruit (e.g., lemon or orange); (Emphasis added.)

- syrup flavoured with fruit juices which have been modified by the addition of constituents (citric acid, essential oil extracted from the fruit, etc.) in such quantities that the balance of the fruit juice constituents as found in the natural juice is clearly upset;

- concentrated fruit juice with the addition of citric acid (in such a proportion that the total acid content is appreciably greater than that of the natural juice), essential oils of fruit, synthetic sweetening agents, etc.

Such preparations are intended to be consumed as beverages after simple dilution with water or after further treatment. Certain preparations of this kind are intended for adding to other food preparations.

Further, the ENs, pages 138-139, describes caramel classified in heading 1702, HTSUS, as follows:

Caramel is a brown non-crystallisable substance with an aromatic odour. It may be in the form either of a more or less syrupy liquid or of a solid, usually a powder.

It is obtained by more or less prolonged pyrogenation, at a temperature of 120 - 180 C, from sugars (usually glucose or sucrose) or from molasses.

Depending on the manufacturing process, a whole series of products is obtained ranging from caramelised sugars (or molasses) proper with a sugar content, calculated on the dry product, which is usually high (of the order of 90 %), to " colouring " caramels, with a very low sugar content.

Caramelised sugars or molasses are used for flavouring, particularly in making sweetened desserts, ice cream or pastry-cooks' products. Colouring caramels, because of a fairly high degree of conversion of the sugars into melanoidin (a colorant), are used as colouring substances in, for example, biscuit-making, brewing and the manufacture of certain non-alcoholic beverages.

Caramel sugar is specifically provided for in heading 1702 and according to the ENs, the provision for caramel includes caramelised sugar used as a coloring or flavoring matter in the preparation of food products. However, the product in question is not caramel sugar although it contains a small amount of caramelised sugar used as a coloring or flavoring matter. Sugar syrups are also specifically provided for in several subheadings of heading 1702. However, according to heading 1702, HTSUS, and the ENs, a sugar syrup containing coloring or flavoring matter such as caramelised coloring or flavoring matter is precluded from coverage in heading 1702, HTSUS. Accordingly, the product is not classified under GRI 1 in heading 1702, HTSUS.

Heading 2106 HTSUS, provides for food preparations not elsewhere specified or included. Since the product is not specified or included in heading 1702, the heading is broad enough to include the product and the product is classified in the heading under rule 1, of the GRI.


Supreme Golden Corn Syrup containing glucose, caramel coloring matter, and other components, is classified in subheading 2106.90.9997, HTSUS, which provides for food preparations not elsewhere specified or included...other...other: containing sugar derived from sugar cane and/or sugar beet, with a 1998 duty at the general rate of 7.6 percent ad valorem, and a special free rate for Canada, if applicable.

NYRL 817784 is modified concerning the classification of the product, Supreme Golden Corn Syrup.

In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625, this ruling will become effective 60 days after 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), of the Customs Regulations


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division
Office of Regulations and

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