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HQ 966214





March 31, 2003

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 966214 AM

CATEGORY: CLASSIFICATION

TARIFF NO.: 1515.90.80

Ms. Bonnie Quon
207 S. Poplar Ave.
Brea, CA 92821

RE: Camellia Seed Oil

Dear Ms. Quon:

This is regarding your letter, dated January 23, 2003, regarding the classification of Camellia Seed Oil, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).

FACTS:

The merchandise, Camellia Seed Oil, is an oil extracted from the flower seeds of the Camellia tea tree produced in China and imported in 50 kilogram drums for use in skin care. You state that the imported merchandise will contain no added chemical ingredients. The oil is extracted by pressing and solvent extraction and is similar chemically and physically to olive oil. .

ISSUE:

Whether Camellia Seed Oil is classifiable as an oil of Chapter 15, HTSUS?

LAW AND ANALYSIS:

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 the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).

The HTSUS provision under consideration is as follows:

1515 Other fixed vegetable fats and oils (including jojoba oil) and their fractions, whether or not refined, but not chemically modified:

1515.90 Other

1515.90.80 Other

The General ENs to chapter 15 state, in pertinent part, the following:

GENERAL

(B) Headings 15.07 to 15.15 of this Chapter cover the single (i.e., not mixed with fats or oils of another nature), fixed vegetable fats and oils mentioned in the headings, together with their fractions, whether or not refined, but not chemically modified. . . .

The fats and oils covered by these headings are mainly obtained from the oil seeds and oleaginous fruits of headings 12.01 to 12.07, but may also be obtained from vegetable materials classified elsewhere (e.g.: olive oil, oils obtained from the kernels of peaches, apricots or plums of heading 12.12, oils obtained from almonds, walnuts, pignolia nuts, pistachio nuts, etc., of heading 08.02, oil obtained from germ of cereals).

EN 12.07 specifically includes "Tea seeds" as a seed included in the chapter. The instant merchandise, camellia seed oil, extracted from a type of tea seed, can therefore be described as an oil obtained from the seeds of heading 1207, HTSUS. Thus, the instant merchandise is classified in subheading 1515.90.80, the provision for "[o]ther fixed vegetable fats and oils (including jojoba oil) and their fractions, whether or not refined, but not chemically modified: [o]ther; [o]ther."

HOLDING:

Camellia tea seed oil is is classified in subheading 1515.90.80, the provision for "[o]ther fixed vegetable fats and oils (including jojoba oil) and their fractions, whether or not refined, but not chemically modified: [o]ther; [o]ther."

Sincerely,

Myles B. Harmon, Director

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