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NY H89817

April 11, 2002

CLA-2-21:RR:NC:2:228 H89817


TARIFF NO.: 2106.90.9400

Mr. Clark D. Bien
Streamline Foods, Inc.
6018 West Maple Road
West Bloomfield, MI 48322

RE: The tariff classification, status under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and country of origin marking of a food ingredient from Mexico; Article 509

Dear Mr. Bien:

In your letter dated March 14, 2002 you requested a ruling on the status of a “gum blend” from Mexico under the NAFTA.

A sample, submitted with your letter, was examined and disposed of. The product, described as a “gum blend,” is a dry mixture of approximately 97 percent granulated sugar, 3 percent carrageenan, and less than one percent xanthan gum. The blend will be used as an ingredient in the production of Jolly Rancher candies. The sugar will be a product of Mexico and the carrageenan and xanthan gum will be goods of United States origin. In Mexico, the ingredients will be blended in mechanical ribbon blenders and packed in one-ton plastic-lined sacks or 50 and 100-pound paper bags.

The applicable tariff provision for this product will be 2106.90.9400, Harmonized Tariff Schedule or the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for food preparations not elsewhere specified of includedotherotherarticles containing over 65 percent by dry weight of sugar described in additional U.S. note 2 to chapter 17other. The general rate of duty will be 28.8 cents per kilogram plus 8.5 percent ad valorem.

The gum blend, being wholly obtained or produced entirely in the territory of Mexico and the United States, will meet the requirements of HTSUSA General Note 12(b)(i).

The marking statute, section 304, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), provides that, unless excepted, every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the U.S. shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly and permanently as the nature of the article (or its container) will permit, in such a manner as to indicate to the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. the English name of the country of origin of the article. Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 134) implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304.

The country of origin marking requirements for a "good of a NAFTA country" are also determined in accordance with Annex 311 of the North American Free Trade Agreement ("NAFTA"), as implemented by section 207 of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat 2057) (December 8, 1993) and the appropriate Customs Regulations. The Marking Rules used for determining whether a good is a good of a NAFTA country are contained in Part 102, Customs Regulations. The marking requirements of these goods are set forth in Part 134, Customs Regulations.

Section 134.45(a)(2) of the regulations, provides that "a good of a NAFTA country may be marked with the name of the country of origin in English, French or Spanish. Section 134.1(g) of the regulations, defines a "good of a NAFTA country" as an article for which the country of origin is Canada, Mexico or the United States as determined under the NAFTA Marking Rules.

As provided in section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(b)), the country of origin marking is considered conspicuous if the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. is able to find the marking easily and read it without strain.

With regard to the permanency of a marking, section 134.41(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(a)), provides that as a general rule marking requirements are best met by marking worked into the article at the time of manufacture. For example, it is suggested that the country of origin on metal articles be die sunk, molded in, or etched. However, section 134.44, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.44), generally provides that any marking that is sufficiently permanent so that it will remain on the article until it reaches the ultimate purchaser unless deliberately removed is acceptable.

Applying the NAFTA Marking Rules set forth in Part 102 of the regulations to the facts of this case, we find that the imported gum blend is a good of Mexico for marking purposes.

Goods of Mexico, classifiable in subheading 2106.90.9400, HTS, entered under the terms of general note 12 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, and imported in quantities that fall within the quantitative limits described in note 18 to subchapter VI of chapter 99, HTS, will be free of duty pursuant to subheading 9906.21.44, HTS. If the quantitative limits of note 18 to subchapter VI of chapter 99 have been reached, and if the product is valued 74.8 cents or less, per kilogram, it will be dutiable at the rate of 7 cents per kilogram, in subheading 9906.21.45, HTS. If valued over 74.8 cents per kilogram the rate of duty will be 9.4 percent ad valorem, pursuant to subheading 9906.21.46, HTS.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 181 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 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 Stanley Hopard at 646-733-3029.


Robert B. Swierupski

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