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NY I89770

February 7, 2003

CLA-2-4:RR:NC:2:228 I89770


TARIFF NO.: 0406.30.2400; 0406.30.2800; 2103.90.9091

Mr. Brian Kavanaugh
Deringer Logistics Consulting Group
1 Lincoln Blvd.
Rouses Pt., NY 12979

RE: The tariff classification of cheese preparations from Canada

Dear Mr. Kavanaugh:

In your letter dated January 9, 2003, on behalf of Mondiv Food Products, Boisbriand, PQ, Canada, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Ingredients breakdowns and product labels were submitted with your letter. Dairy Source brand Cheddar Cracker Zapper is labeled as a pasteurized process cheese spread put up in a pressurized can with a narrow applicator tip for applying a decorative bead to crackers. The stated ingredients are cheddar cheese, water, milk fat, disodium phosphate, non fat dry milk, whey, salt, lactic acid, cheese flavor, sodium alginate, sorbic acid, and annatto. Urge! brand Salsa Con Queso, packed in a jar containing 15.5 ounces, is composed of whey, Monterey Jack cheese, tomatoes, soybean oil, maltodextrin, jalapeno peppers, green chilies, red bell peppers, sodium phosphate, salt, sodium citrate, citric acid, modified food starch, sorbic acid, and annatto. Crystal Farms brand It’s So Cheesy Cheddar Flavor Cheese Sauce, in a 16-ounce jar, consists of cheddar cheese, water, soybean oil, whey, disodium phosphate, corn syrup solids, salt, lactic acid, Worcestershire sauce, sodium alginate, sorbic acid, mustard flour, oleoresin paprika, and annatto. Snyder’s of Hanover brand Cheese Dip, packed in a jar containing 10.5 ounces, is composed of cheddar cheese, whey slurry, water, soybean oil, disodium phosphate, corn syrup solids, nonfat dry milk, lactic acid, salt, cheese flavor, sorbic acid, guar gum, cellulose gum, annatto, Worcestershire sauce, mustard flour, and oleoresin paprika.

In your letter you suggested all products failed to meet the requirements for classification as cheese in heading 0406, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS). Citing Headquarters Ruling (HQ) 964846 dated September 11, 2002, you believed classification in subheading 2103.90.9091, HTS, should apply. We concur with your suggested classification for the cheese sauce, cheese dip, and salsa, but disagree with your opinion concerning the Cracker Zapper. The latter is a pasteurized cheese spread, labeled for marketing as such, and appears to meet the U.S. F.D.A. standard of identity for pasteurized process cheese spread. HQ 964846 addressed the tariff classification of cheese products used as the base ingredient for sauces and dressings, and would not control the tariff classification of the four finished, ready-to-consume goods described above.

The applicable subheading for the Cracker Zapper, if imported under USDA license, will be 0406.30.2400, HTS, which provides for cheese and curdprocessed (process) cheese, not grated or powderedcheddar cheesedescribed in additional U.S. note 18 to this chapter and entered pursuant to its provisions. The rate of duty will be 16 percent ad valorem. If imported without a USDA import license, the applicable subheading will be 0406.30.2800, HTS, with duty at the rate of $1.227 per kilogram.

The applicable subheading for the Salsa Con Queso, It’s So Cheesy Cheddar Flavor Cheese Sauce, and Cheese Dip will be 2103.90.9091, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for sauces and preparations thereforotherother. The rate of duty will be 6.4 percent ad valorem.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

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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