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NY D83309

October 22, 1998

CLA-2-04:RR:NC:2:231 D83309


TARIFF NO.: 0406.90.9500; 0406.90.9700

Mr. Christian Emmanuel
Cemma International, Inc.
4829, avenue Rosedale
Montreal, Quebec H4V 2H3

RE: The tariff classification and status under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) of St-Paulin cheese from Canada; Article 509

Dear Mr. Emmanuel:

In your letter, dated October 16, 1998, on behalf of your client, La Fromagerie Bergeron, Inc., St-Antoine-de-Tilly, Quebec, you requested a ruling on the status of St-Paulin cheese from Canada under the NAFTA.

The product, St-Paulin cheese, is semi-soft, surface ripened cheese in the shape of a wheel. The ingredients are pasteurized cow's milk, bacterial culture, rennet, calcium chloride, and coloring. The milk fat content on a dry basis is 47 percent, and the moisture content is 41 percent. The rind has a light orange color, and the interior has a light yellow, straw color. There are few eye openings, and the flavor is mild and slightly aromatic.

During the manufacturing process, curds are prepared under the whey before hooping. The cheese matures during a period of at least six weeks. The cheese is frequently washed and turned, brine salted, and semi-soft, surface ripened.

In your correspondence you indicate that the cheese is made from milk that is of Canadian origin. All other ingredients will be sourced either in Canada or the U.S.

The applicable subheading for St-Paulin cheese, if imported in quantities that fall within the limits described in additional U.S. note 16 to chapter 4, will be 0406.90.9500, HTS, which provides for cheese and curd, other cheese, other cheeses, and substitutes for cheese, including mixtures of the above, other, including mixtures of the above, (excluding goods containing mixtures of subheadings 0406.90.61 or 0406.90.63), other, other, containing cow's milk (except soft-ripened cow's milk cheese), described in additional U.S. note 16 to chapter 4 and entered pursuant to its provisions. The general rate of duty will be 10 percent ad valorem. If the quantitative limits of additional U.S. note 16 to chapter 4 have been reached, the product will be classified in subheading 0406.90.9700, HTS, and will be dutiable at US $1.598 per kilogram. In addition, products classified in subheading 0406.90.9700, HTS, will be subject to additional duties based on their value, as described in subheadings 9904.06.38 - 9904.06.49, HTS.

Products classifiable in subheading 0406.90.9500, HTS, being wholly obtained or produced entirely in the territory of Canada and/or the United States, will meet the requirements of HTSUSA General Note 12(b)(i), and will therefore be entitled to a free rate of duty under the NAFTA upon compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and agreements.

An import license, issued to the importer by the United States Department of Agriculture, will be required at the time that such merchandise is entered for consumption into the United States.

Questions regarding licensing procedures and applications for licenses to import cheese subject to quota should be addressed to:

U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service Import Policies and Trade Analysis Division Att: Dairy Import Group, Rm. 5531, So. Bldg. Washington, DC 20250-1000

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 181 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 181).

This ruling letter is binding only as to the party to whom it is issued and may be relied on only by that party.

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Ralph Conte at (212) 466-5759.


Robert B. Swierupski

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