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NY 888793

August 03, 1993



TARIFF NO.: 1602.50.6000

Mr. David Greenberg, Project Manager
T. Lauzon Lt‚e.
5500 C“te de Liesse
Ville Mont-Royal, Qu‚bec H4P 1A8

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

Dear Mr. Greenberg:

In your letter dated July 21, 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, Scotland 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 on a conveyer belt and fed into a "block breaker," which breaks the blocks up into smaller pieces for processing. These smaller pieces are then forced through a grinder plate with holes of one-quarter inch to three-quarter inch and coarse ground into pieces that will range from one-quarter inch to three-quarter inches in diameter by 1 « inch to 3 inches in length. These ground pieces will, in turn, be fed into a mixer (blender) in lots of 3,000 pounds. Seasoning ingredients, in the amount of 2 percent by weight of salt and 0.5 percent by weight of pepper will be added to the mixer with the meat pieces; and all ingredients will be vacuum blended to assure that the seasonings will be fully dispersed on, and thoroughly absorbed by, the individual meat pieces. After mixing, the seasoned meat pieces are discharged into waxed boxes holding up to 60 pounds each. These boxes are then moved into a freezer and frozen to a temperature of 10o Fahrenheit. Finally, these cartons will be palletized and shrink wrapped for export in truckloads of about 42,000 pounds.

During processing, the meat is maintained at a temperature of 26o Fahrenheit, or below, in order to prevent bacterial growth and oxidation of the hemoglobin.

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 ennumerated 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 rate 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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