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NY N004104

December 26, 2006



TARIFF NO.: 2101.20.9000; 9801.00.1097

Ms. Pamela Johnson
Starbucks Coffee Company
PO Box 34067
Seattle, WA 98124-1067

RE: The tariff classification of Decaf Chai Tea from Italy and Canada

Dear Ms. Johnson:

In your letter dated November 30, 2006 you requested a tariff classification ruling. Your request also asks for the country of origin for marking purposes.

Black tea is imported into the United States and blended with rooibos (herbal tea), cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, chicory, cloves, black pepper, natural flavors and star anise. The resulting product is a bulk tea blend called Decaf Chai Tea. The decaffeinated black tea is stated to be from various foreign countries. The rooibos is from South Africa, the star anise is from SE Asia and the remaining ingredients listed are from various foreign countries. The bulk Decaf Chai Tea is exported to either Italy or Canada, where it is packaged into filter bags and retail cartons. The packaged tea blend is re-imported into the United States for sale at Starbucks retail stores and at grocery stores.

The applicable subheading for the Decaf Chai Tea will be 2101.20.9000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for Extracts, essences and concentrates of coffee, tea or mate and preparations with a basis of these products or with a basis of coffee, tea or mate; roasted chicory and other roasted coffee substitutes, and extracts, essences and concentrates thereof: Extracts, essences and concentrates, of tea or mate, and preparations with a basis of these extracts, essences or concentrates or with a basis of tea or mate: Other: Other: Other. The rate of duty will be 8.5 percent ad valorem.

The Decaf Chai Tea, being of U.S. origin, will be eligible for entry as American Goods Returned. Provided the documentary requirements of 19 C.F.R. ยง10.1 are satisfied, the applicable subheading for the repackaged Decaf Chai Tea will be 9801.00.1097, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for products of the United States when returned after having been exported, without having been advanced in value or improved in condition by any process of manufacture or other means while abroad: other: other. Products in subheading 9801.00.1097 are free of duty.

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/.

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.

The country of origin for marking purposes is defined at section 19 CFR 134.1(b), to mean the country of manufacture, production, or growth of any article of foreign origin entering the U.S. Further work or material added to an article in another country must effect a substantial transformation in order to render such other country the "country of origin" within the meaning of Part 134. A substantial transformation is effected when a manufacturer or processor converts or combines an article into a new and different article resulting in a change in name, character, or use.

In this case, the imported decaffeinated black tea blended together in the United States with the rooibos, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom chicory cloves, black pepper star anise and natural flavors has been substantially transformed into a product of the United States. Products of the United States are exempt from country of origin marking requirements.

The bulk Decaf Chai Tea, exported to either Italy or Canada, where it is packaged into filter bags and retail cartons has not been advanced in value or improved in condition. Therefore, the re-imported Decaf Chai Tea in retail containers remains a product of the United States.

This merchandise is subject to The Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 (The Bioterrorism Act), which is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Information on the Bioterrorism Act can be obtained by calling FDA at telephone number (301) 575-0156, or at the Web site www.fda.gov/oc/bioterrorism/bioact.html.

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 Paul Hodgkiss at 646-733-3031.


Robert B. Swierupski

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