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NY 889821

September 01, 1993



TARIFF NO.: 1602.50.6000

Mr. Henry Muller, President
Muller's Meats Limited
P.O. Box 777
Niagara Falls, Ontario L2E 6V6

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

Dear Mr. Muller:

In your letter dated August 24, 1993, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The product in question is described as ground and seasoned boneless BEEF, which will be processed in Canada from frozen boneless beef of Australian, New Zealand or Canadian origin. You state that, initially, you will be processing frozen, boneless beef from Australia.

When processed in Canada, the frozen, boneless beef blocks will be broken down, first, into pieces of a size suitable for grinding, and tempered to 26 degrees Fahrenheit. The smaller meat pieces will then be ground through a one inch plate, using a Weiller Grinder, producing beef pieces with a one inch diameter. After grinding, these beef pieces will be combined with two percent by weight of salt and one-half percent by weight of pepper, and blended in a Rietz Mixer Model RS 23-K5306 until all the seasonings have been fully dispersed on, and thoroughly absorbed by, the individual meat pieces.

The seasoned, ground beef pieces will be packed for export either in 1,800 pound polylined combo bins at 26 to 28 degrees Fahrenheit or in waxed boxes holding 50 pounds of beef at 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

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 the 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 seasoned and ground frozen 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 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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