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HQ 964946

March 20, 2002

CLA-2 RR: CR: GC : 964946 DBS


TARIFF NO.: 0712.90.10; 9903.02.33

Mr. Jerome J. Zaucha
Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue
51 Louisiana Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20001-2113

RE: Reconsideration of G82107; dried vegetables; carrots

Dear Mr. Zaucha:

This is in response to your letter dated March 29, 2001, requesting reconsideration of NY ruling letter G82107, issued to counsel for Rogers Food, Inc., on October 17, 2000, which classified “vacu-puffed” carrots, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), as dried carrots, not further prepared, in subheading 0712.90.10, HTSUS. We have reviewed NY G82107 and find it to be correct. We regret the delay in responding.


The merchandise at issue is “vacu-puffed” carrot granules and flakes that have been subjected after dehydration to a patented pressure-reduction process. After fresh carrots are washed, pealed, steamed, cut to size and air-dried, they are placed in a pressure chamber and subjected to two phases of heat and pressure, once at 115 degrees Celsius and once at 130 degrees Celsius. They are then placed in a vacuum chamber and subjected to a rapid reduction in pressure. The process creates micro-cavities in the carrots, causing the granules or flakes to expand or “puff.” The end result is spongy carrot pieces that can rehydrate in boiling water in 1 minute, more quickly than standard dried carrots. The carrots are used for flavor in instant meals such as soups and similar products.

In NY G82107, Customs classified this merchandise in subheading 0712.90.10, HTSUS, which provides for dried carrots, whole, cut, broken, or in powder, but not further prepared. The ruling noted that goods classified in this provision which are the products of several named countries are subject to a 100 percent ad valorem rate of duty pursuant to subheading 9903.02.33, HTSUS. You contend the merchandise has been further prepared by heating and “puffing” process, and is therefore classifiable in subheading 2005.90.10, HTSUS, which provides for other further prepared carrots in airtight containers.

According to the original submission dated September 15, 2000, the carrots are imported in plastic bags claimed to be hermetically sealed. However, the Customs laboratory found the heat-sealed bags were not airtight. (See NY lab report #2-2000-21443, dated December 18, 2000).


Whether the vacu-puffed carrots are classifiable in subheading 0712.90.10, HTSUS, as dried vegetables . . . not further prepared . . .carrots, or in subheading 2005.90.10, HTSUS, as other vegetables prepared or preserved . . . carrots in airtight containers.


Classification under the HTSUS is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods shall be determined 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 understanding the language of the HTSUS, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) may be utilized. ENs, though not dispositive or legally binding, provide commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS, and are the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

0712 Dried vegetables, whole, cut, broken or in powder, but not further prepared:

0712.90 Other vegetables; mixtures of vegetables:

0712.90.10 Carrots
2005 Other vegetables prepared or preserved otherwise than by vinegar or acetic acid, not frozen, other than products of heading 2006:

2005.90 Other vegetables; mixtures of vegetables:

2005.90.10 Carrots in airtight containers

The General ENs to Chapter 7, HTSUS, states that the chapter covers vegetables, whether fresh, chilled, frozen (uncooked or cooked by steaming or boiling in water), provisionally preserved or dried (including dehydrated, evaporated or freeze-dried). The ENs further provide that vegetables of Chapter 7 remain classified in that chapter even if put up in airtight containers, unless they have been prepared or preserved otherwise than as provided for in the headings of the chapter.

Heading 0712, HTSUS, provides specifically for dried vegetables in the terms of the heading. EN 07.12 defines the scope of “dried” as follows: “. . . covers vegetables which have been dried (including dehydrated, evaporated or freeze-dried) i.e., with their natural water content removed by various processes.” Emphasis added. Further, the EN enumerates the uses of the dried vegetables covered by the heading as being generally “flavouring materials or in the preparation of soups.”

Dried vegetables are specifically excluded from Chapter 20, HTSUS. Chapter 20, Note1(a), HTSUS, states, in pertinent part, that Chapter 20 does not cover vegetables prepared or preserved by processes specified in Chapter 7. And Note 3 states, in pertinent part, that heading 20.05, among others, covers only those products of Chapter 7 which have been prepared or preserved by processes other than those referred to in Note 1(a). Further, EN exclusionary note (c) to Chapter 20 excludes from classification therein soups and broths and preparations therefor and homogenized composite food preparations of heading 21.04, HTSUS.

In McCormick & Company, Inc. v. United States, the Court of International Trade stated that it is settled law that “a provision for an article dried is more specific than a provision for such article when ‘otherwise prepared or preserved’” because drying is a means of preservation. 15 F. Supp. 2d 862, 864 (C.I.T 1998) (citing Sturm, Customs 15 F. Supp. 2d Law & Administration, § 54.7 (1991), F.H. Shallus & Co., et. al. v. United States, 18 C.C.P.A. 332, T.D. 44585 (1931) and United States v. Enbun, Co, 19 C.C.P.A. 79 T.D. 44224 (1931)). McCormick involved tomato powder made by concentrating fresh tomatoes in a vacuum operation into paste, which is pasteurized, further concentrated, and pasteurized again. It is then spray-dried into powder. The court relied on the plain meaning of subheading in heading 0712, HTSUS, that covers tomatoes in the form of the importations (clearly in powder form). The court stated, “There is no indication whatsoever that the manner in which the drying process was conducted or the intermediate stages through which the original vegetable passed, should have a bearing on the ultimate classification.” Id.

We find McCormick to be controlling in this case. Different processes of drying affect the properties of vegetables typically in the area of rehydration. The vacu-puffed carrots, while they may rehydrate more quickly that air-dried carrots, they are still undoubtedly dried carrots. Compare the difference between freeze-dried mushrooms and drum-dried mushrooms: one will fully rehydrate to the texture of a normal mushroom, while the other will remain somewhat rubbery. Both are still dried mushrooms.

Moreover, the carrots are used in a manner consistent with the uses described in the ENs to heading 0712, HTSUS, as preparations for soups. They have not been colored, flavored, mixed with other ingredients, or otherwise prepared in a manner that would make them something other than dried carrots. Your reliance on Customs rulings NY 865029, dated July 29, 1991, NY 865028, dated July 26, 1991, HQ 089181, dated October 2, 1991, HQ 084066, dated June 21, 1989 and HQ 084812, dated August 8, 1989 is misplaced. Each of these rulings involved merchandise that had been cooked, a distinction that warrants classification in Chapter 20, HTSUS. Vacu-puffed carrots have not been cooked. They are dried carrots specifically provided for under heading 0712, HTSUS. NY G82107 properly classified this merchandise.


The vacu-puffed carrots are classified in subheading 0712.90.10, HTSUS, which provides for “Dried vegetables, whole, cut, broken or in powder, but not further prepared: other vegetables; mixtures or vegetables: carrots.” This subheading is subject to the provisions of subheading 9903.02.33, HTSUS.

G82107 is affirmed.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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