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NY 890698

September 30, 1993



TARIFF NO.: 1602.50.6000

Mr. Dinesh Bhatnagar
Product Development/Quality Control Manager Centennial Food Corporation
4043 Brandon Street, S.E.
Calgary, Alberta Canada T2G 4A7

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

Dear Mr. Bhatnagar:

In your letter dated September 22, 1993, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The products in question will be processed from a mixture of Canadian beef and frozen boneless beef imported from Australia in 60 pound boxes. In all cases, the product will consist of 50 percent Canadian beef, and the balance of Australian origin.

In processing, the frozen boneless beef will first be tempered to 32 degrees Fahrenheit, then ground, along with fresh boneless beef, through a frozen meat grinder using a one inch hole grinder plate. This coarse ground meat will then be conveyed into a mixer- grinder, where it will be mixed with the non meat ingredients, such as sauces, water, salt, spices, etc. The resulting mixture will be ground through a grinder plate with a one-eighth inch hole diameter at a temperature ranging between 32 and 36 degrees Fahrenheit. The seasoned ground meat mix will then be transferred, in tubs, to patty forming machines, which will form the mix into patties. The formed patties will be scored by passing them through a scoring machine.

After processing, the formed and seasoned patties will be passed through a freezing tunnel and solidly frozen. The frozen patties will be interleaved with paper and packed in corrugated cartons with plastic liners. These cartons will be sealed with a tape sealer, then placed in master cartons, which will also be tape sealed. Finally, the product will be further blast frozen and then stored until shipping.

The imported products are described as three varieties of seasoned BEEF PATTIES,--namely, BEEF PATTIES with Mesquite BBQ Sauce, BEEF PATTIES with Salsa Sauce and BEEF PATTIES with Hickory BBQ Sauce. BEEF PATTIES with Mesquite BBQ Sauce will consist by weight of beef (84 to 87 percent) with Mesquite BBQ Sauce (7 per- cent), water, bread crumbs, whole egg powder and salt. BEEF PATTIES with Hickory BBQ Sauce will consist of beef (85 to 87 percent) with Hickory BBQ Sauce, water, bread crumbs, whole egg powder and hickory salt. BEEF PATTIES with Salsa Sauce will consist of beef (about 84 percent) with water, Salsa Sauce Mix (5.3 percent) and dehydrated vegetable mix (0.732 percent). All of these BEEF PATTIES will be formed in 2, 4 and 6 ounce sizes for marketing both in the Food Service industry and at retail.

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,


(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 to, and blending of, the different sauces and other ingredients used in these three products, as described, constitutes a processing of this 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 frozen BEEF PATTIES with Mesquite BBQ Sauce, with Hickory BBQ Sauce and with Salsa Sauce 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:...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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