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NY N003434

December 15, 2006



TARIFF NO.: 2106.90.9400

Mr. William Outman
Baker & McKenzie LLP
815 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20006

RE: The tariff classification and status under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), of food ingredients from Mexico and Canada; Article 509

Dear Mr. Outman:

In your letter dated November 15, 2006, on behalf of H.J. Heinz & Co., Pittsburgh, PA, you requested a ruling on the status of a food ingredient from Mexico and Canada under the NAFTA.

Additional information concerning the origin of the ingredients was submitted on December 14, 2006. Two “tomato slurry” products are described in your letter. “Option 1”, is composed of 62 percent sucrose, 31 percent concentrated tomato juice (12 Brix), and 7 percent vinegar. “Option 2” is said to be composed of 62 percent sucrose, 21 percent water, 10 percent tomato paste (28 Brix), and 7 percent vinegar. Both formulations will be imported for use in the manufacture of tomato-based products. All ingredients used to make the tomato slurry will be products of the United States, Canada, or Mexico.

The applicable tariff provision for tomato slurry Option 2 will be 2106.90.9400, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for food preparations not elsewhere specified or includedotherother articles 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.

Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUS and the accompanying duty rates are provided on World Wide Web at http://www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/.

General Note 12(b), HTSUS, sets forth the criteria for determining whether a good is originating under the NAFTA. General Note 12(b), HTSUS, (19 U.S.C. § 1202) states, in pertinent part, that

For the purposes of this note, goods imported into the customs territory of the United States are eligible for the tariff treatment and quantitative limitations set forth in the tariff schedule as "goods originating in the territory of a NAFTA party" only if--

(i) they are goods wholly obtained or produced entirely in the territory of Canada, Mexico and/or the United States; or

(ii) they have been transformed in the territory of Canada, Mexico and/or the United States so that--

(A) except as provided in subdivision (f) of this note, each of the non-originating materials used in the production of such goods undergoes a change in tariff classification described in subdivisions (r), (s) and (t) of this note or the rules set forth therein, or

(B) the goods otherwise satisfy the applicable requirements of subdivisions (r), (s) and (t) where no change in tariff classification is required, and the goods satisfy all other requirements of this note;

Based on the facts provided, tomato slurry Option 2, when a product of Mexico, qualifies for NAFTA preferential treatment, because it will meet the requirements of HTSUS General Note 12(b)(i). The tomato slurry Option 2 will therefore be entitled to a free rate of duty under the NAFTA upon compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and agreements.

Your inquiry does not provide enough information for us to give a classification ruling on tomato slurry Option 1. Your request for a classification ruling should include a sample of this merchandise. When this information is available, you may wish to consider resubmission of your request. If you decide to resubmit your request, please include all of the material that we have returned to you.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 181 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 181).

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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