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NY 890812

September 29, 1993



TARIFF NO.: 1602.50.6000

Mr. Harry Hausman
Hausman Foods, Inc.
P.O. Box 700035
San Antonio, TX 78270-0035

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

Dear Mr. Hausman:

In your letter, received September 28, 1993, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The product in question will be produced from beef cattle slaughtered in various countries,--namely, in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Scotland or the United States. This meat would be imported into Mexico in the form of frozen boneless beef and moved to an approved processing plant located in Piedras Negras in the state of Coahuila.

When processed in Mexico, the beef would be cut, first, with a guillotine or centrifugal cutting machine. The range of piece sizes will vary from finger size pieces to pieces weighing a few pounds each. After cutting, the meat will be forced through a large grinder plate with holes of one inch to one-half inch diameter, or less. On either side of the grinder plate, rotary knives will cut the meat into pieces of up to one inch in diameter and one inch, or so, in length. These cut pieces will be loaded into a mixer in batch loads consisting of fifty pounds of cut pieces, one pound of salt and a quarter pound of pepper. Each batch will be blended in the mixer until all the seasonings have been dispersed on, and thoroughly absorbed by, the individual meat pieces.

The meat is maintained as close to, or below, freezing temperatures as possible throughout the entire process to prevent bacterial growth and oxidation of the hemoglobin. After processing, the meat is immediately packed into shipping containers at temperatures of 26o to 28o Fahrenheit and shipped per customers'
requests. For orders of frozen beef, the meat is held long enough to reduce the temperature to 0o Fahrenheit prior to export to the United States. Product will be shipped in paperboard polylined combo bins weighing approximately one thousand pounds or packed in export cartons of about 50 to 60 pounds each, net.

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 HTSUSA 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 pound of salt and one quarter pound of pepper with 50 pounds of cut 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 vegetables:...Other:... Other. The rate of duty will be 4 percent ad valorem.

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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