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HQ 962908

December 23, 1999

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 962908K


TARIFF NO.: 2104.10.0020

Area Director
U.S. Customs Service
JFK Airport, Bldg 77
Jamaica, N.Y. 11430

RE: Protest 1001-98-105406; “Hon-DASHI” Soup Stocks

Dear Area Director:

The following is our response to protest 1001-98-105406, filed against your classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedules of the United States (HTSUS), of “Hon Dashi” soup stocks.


The consumption entry covering the imported products was liquidated on September 18, 1998, under the provision for other mixed condiments and mixed seasonings in subheading 2103.90.7400, HTSUS, a tariff rate quota provision. A timely protest under 19 U.S.C. 1514 was received on December 16, 1998. The protestant requested reliquidation of the entry under the provision for soups and broths and preparations therefor based on fish or other seafood, in subheading 2104.10.0020, HTSUS, a provision not subject to tariff rate quota.

The products are described as “Hon-Dashi Bonito” and “Hon-Dashi Irikodashi Sardine” types of dried soup stocks to which the consumer adds hot water to form a soup or a soup base.

“Hon-Dashi Bonito” contains as its essential ingredient, “bonito powder”, a dried extract prepared from the bonito fish, and “tangle extract”, a dried seaweed. It also contains salt, sugar, monosodium glutamate, lactose, hydrolyzed vegetable protein and lactose. “Hon-Dashi Irikodashi Sardine” contains similar constituents except it contains dried sardine as the essential fish ingredient.


Whether the products are soups or broths and preparations therefor.


The classification of imported merchandise under the HTSUS is governed by the principles set forth in the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 requires that classification be determined first according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative section and chapter notes and, unless otherwise required, according to the remaining GRI's, taken in their appropriate order. Accordingly, we first have to determine whether the product is classified under GRI 1.

Heading 2104, HTSUS, provides for soups and broths and preparations therefor. Heading 2103, HTSUS provides for sauces and preparations therefor: mixed condiments and mixed seasonings; mustard flour and meal and prepared mustard.

The Explanatory Notes (EN's) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, which represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, facilitate classification under the HTSUS by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and General Rules of Interpretation of the HTSUS. The EN's for heading 2103 states that heading 2103 does not cover “soups and broths and preparations therefor (heading 21.04)".

The EN’s for heading 2104 states that soups and preparations therefor classified in subheading 2104.10 includes:

(1) Preparations for soups or broths requiring only the addition of water, milk, etc. (2) Soups and broths ready for consumption after heating.

These products are generally based on vegetable products (flour, starches, tapioca, macaroni, spaghetti and the like, rice, plant extracts, etc.), meat, meat extracts, fat, fish, crustaceans, molluscs or other aquatic invertebrates, peptone, aminoacids or yeast extract. They may also contain a considerable proportion of salt.

They are generally put up as tablets, cakes, cubes, or in powder or liquid form. Emphasis added.

The protestant notes that the possible use of the products as seasonings does not overcome the commercial identity and “principal use” of the products as preparations for soups or broths. The protestant also noted that fish is suitable to form soup stock.

We agree that the products as described, with fish as the basis for the stock, with other vegetable products, in dried (powdered) form, and ready for consumption with the addition of hot water, are classified as soups or broths or preparations therefor.


The products, described above as “Hon-Dashi Bonito” and “Hon-Dashi Irikodashi Sardine” types of dried soup stocks with fish as “stock’ to which the consumer adds hot water to form a soup or a soup base, is classified by virtue of GRI 1, HTSUS, as dried soups and broths and preparations therefor in subheading 2104.10.0020, HTSUS, a provision not subject to tariff rate quota.

You are directed to allow the protest in full.

In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550-065, Revised Protest Directive, dated August 4, 1993, a copy of this decision attached to Customs Form 19, Notice of Action, should be provided by your office to the protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this decision and any reliquidations of entries in accordance with this decision must be accomplished prior thereto.

Sixty days from the date of this decision the Office of Regulations and Rulings will take steps to make this decision available to Customs personnel, and to the general public on the Customs Home Page on the World Wide Web at www.customs.gov, by means of the Freedom of Information Act and other public access channels.


John Durant, Director

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