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NY L86080

August 22, 2005



TARIFF NO.: 2104.10.0040

Ms. Mary E. Wright
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz,
Silverman, Klestadt & Wright LLP
Old City Hall
45 School Street, Second Floor
Boston, MA 02108

RE: The tariff classification of “NorthTaste” LobsterStock, ShrimpStock, FishStock, ClamStock and SeafoodStock from Iceland

Dear Ms Wright:

In your letter dated June 30, 2005, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client, Aquanor Marketing, Inc.

The products in question are enzyme-modified preparations of various raw seafood protein materials, such as the meat of pollock, clams, lobster, shrimp, or from a combination of pollock, clam and shrimp. In processing, these proteinaceous materials, in a solution with added water and salt, are exposed to digestive enzymes that break down the proteins in the fish or shellfish meat, converting them into simpler protein forms, such as amino acids and peptides. After the enzyme processing has been completed, the resultant mixture is heat treated to deactivate the enzymes. The mixture is then strained and concentrated and, finally, packaged and frozen. An analysis of the salt content of these products, (about 6.5 percent by weight), states that “[T]he above concentration of salt is not sufficient to provide long shelf life in a cooled environment and therefore it should be stored in a freezer.” These products are said to be used as flavoring agents in soups, sauces and other food preparations.

While you suggest in your letter that these products are properly classifiable as seafood “extracts” of heading 1603, HTS, we find that we disagree. First, the extracts of that heading, as reflected in the Explanatory Notes thereto, are the natural components of meat, fish or other seafood, generally obtained in liquid form by cooking or pressing the muscle tissue, or by the water extraction of soluble components from materials, such as fish meal. The resultant extract is usually concentrated. In the instant case, while the aqueous solution of seafood material might yield a “seafood” extract of soluble components, the further step of converting the complex proteins in that extract into simple proteins, such as amino acids and peptides, results in an enzyme-modified product that is not encompassed by the language of heading 1603, which provides only for extracts and juices of meat, fish and other seafood. Further, the addition of salt, or other substances, ,--as noted in the Explanatory Notes,--is permitted only “if added in sufficient quantities to ensure their preservation.” The addition of 6.5 percent salt which, manifestly, is insufficient to preserve the product even at refrigerated temperatures, fails to meet this requirement. The addition of salt as a seasoning, or flavor enhancer, is not permitted by the Explanatory Notes.

The applicable subheading for “NorthTaste” LobsterStock, ShrimpStock, FishStock, Clamstock and SeafoodStock will be 2104.10.0040, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for soups and broths and preparations therefor; homogenized composite food preparations, soups and broths and preparations therefor, other, based on fish or other seafood. The rate of duty will be 3.2 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 Thomas P. Brady at 646-733-3030.


Robert B. Swierupski

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