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HQ 963749

April 20, 2000

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 963749ptl


TARIFF NO.: 2106.90.9998

Mr. Mike Nacachian
Naka Sales Ltd.
53 Queens Plate Drive, Unit #3
Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada M9W 6P1

RE: Valerian Herbal Tablets; NY A82970 Modified; HQ 083000, 952278, 962335, 953679.

Dear Mr. Nacachian:

In response to your letter dated April 15, 1996, the Director, Customs National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, issued you New York Ruling Letter (NY) A82970 on May 10, 1996, which addressed the tariff classification of several articles under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). That ruling classified Valerian Herbal Tablets in subheading 3004.90.9030, HTSUS, which provides for medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses or in forms or packings for retail sale other other medicaments primarily affecting the central nervous system anticonvulsants, hypnotics and sedatives. We have reviewed this ruling and determined that NY A82970 incorrectly classified the Valerian Herbal Tablets. Classifications of the other articles in that ruling are not affected by this ruling.

Pursuant to section 625(c), Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)), notice of the proposed modification of NY A82970 was published on March 15, 2000, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 34, Number 11. No comments were received in response to the notice.


The merchandise under consideration, Valerian Herbal Tablets, is described in the ruling request as being a “health food supplement for human use”. The Valerian Herbal Tablets are white disks said to contain valerian root extract and hop extract. The product is described as a sleeping aid, with a recommended dosage of two tablets shortly before going to bed.


What is the classification of Valerian Herbal Extract in tablet form?


Merchandise is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). The systematic detail of the HTSUS is such that virtually all goods are classified by application of GRI 1, that is, according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative Section or Chapter Notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRIs may then be applied in order.

In understanding the language of the HTSUS, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes may be utilized. The Explanatory Notes (ENs), although not dispositive or legally binding, provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS, and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).

The headings under consideration are as follows:

1302 Vegetable saps and extracts; pectic substances, pectinates and pectates; agar-agar and other mucilages and thickeners, whether or not modified, derived from vegetable products: Vegetable saps and extracts:

1302.19 Other:
Ginseng; substances having anesthetic, prophylactic or therapeutic properties:

1302.19.40 Other.

1302.19.4040 Other.

2106 Food preparations not elsewhere specified or included:


Other :





2106.90.9998 Other

3004 Medicaments (excluding goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses or in forms or packings for retail sale:


3004 90 Other

Medicaments primarily affecting the central nervous system:

3004.90.9030 Anticonvulsants, hypnotics and sedatives.

We first consider heading 1302, HTSUS, for classification of the merchandise, based upon the language of the heading which reads: “Vegetable saps and extracts whether or not modified, .” However, the ENs to heading 1302 state that “The vegetable saps and extracts of this heading are generally raw materials for various manufactured products. They are excluded from the heading when, because of the addition of other substances, they have the character of food preparations, medicaments, etc.” Therefore, it is not only the addition of substances to extracts, but, rather the condition of the final product that is determinative of classification. In this article, not only has hop extract been added, but the valerian extract has been processed into tablet form. Thus, the article can no longer be considered a raw material and is not eligible for classification in heading 1302.

With regard to classification in heading 3004, HTSUS, Customs notes that it has consistently rejected the contention that herbal products are medicaments of heading 3004, HTSUS, stating that, in accordance with the language of EN 30.04, if a product contains parts of plants mixed with other substances and is used to promote general health and well-being it is not a medicament of heading 3004, HTSUS, but rather a food supplement of heading 2106, HTSUS. Customs has also maintained that 3004 excludes products which are put up for the purpose of maintaining health or well-being, but which have no indication as to use for the prevention or treatment of any disease or ailment. See Headquarters Ruling Letters (HQ) 083000, issued September 19, 1990; 952278, dated January 26, 1993 and 962335, dated February 3, 2000. No evidence has been provided that the Valerian Herbal Tablets are intended to be used for therapeutic or prophylactic purposes, a requirement for classification in heading 3004, HTSUS. Accordingly, we cannot classify the article in heading 3004.

In HQ 953679, dated February 3, 1994, Customs ruled that Valerian Root Extract described as “a capsule of valeric acids in a base of wild East Indian Valerian root” was classified in heading 2106, HTSUS. The subject Valerian Herbal extract is a similar product to the article in that ruling.

For the above reasons, the Valerian Herbal Extract is properly classified in subheading 2106.90.9998, HTSUS, as a food preparation not elsewhere specified or included, , other.


Valerian Herbal Extract in tablet form is classified in subheading 2106.90.9998, HTSUS, which provides for food preparations not elsewhere specified or included: other: other: other: other: other: other: other.

NY A82970, dated May 10, 1996, is modified in accordance with this ruling. In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625(c), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin.


John Durant, Director

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