CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 084928 SS
Tariff No.: 0804.10.8000
Ms. Loretta J. Evans
Fritz Companies, Inc.
P.O. Drawer "G"
Blaine, Washington 98230
RE: Classification and Country of Origin of Sugar Coated,
Dear Ms. Evans:
This letter is in response to your request dated February
27, 1989, on behalf of Service Packing Co., concerning the
classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United
States (HTSUS), and country of origin of whole, pitted dates
imported from Pakistan into Canada where the dates are further
The subject merchandise is chopped dates coated with
dextrose and "Cantab-Plus", which is a form of dextrose. The
dates are grown and pitted in Pakistan, then imported into Canada
where they are first subjected to a dry heat treatment at 115`F,
for a period of three days. They are then macerated, chopped
into 3/8-inch pieces and coated with dextrose and "Cantab-Plus".
The chopped, coated dates are imported into the United States for
use in cereals. The coating facilitates the flow of the dates
through the macerating machines, which remove any remaining pits.
The sugar coating mixture comprises 8.75 percent of the product's
(1) What is the proper tariff classification of pitted,
dextrose-"Cantab-Plus", chopped dates?
(2) What is the country of origin of whole, pitted dates
imported from Pakistan into Canada where they are sugar coated,
macerated and chopped for export to the United States?
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LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Subheading 0804.10.8000, HTSUS, provides for other fresh or
dried dates. The Explanatory Notes, which should be consulted
for guidance in interpretations of the provisions of the HTSUS,
state that the fruits of Chapter 8 may be fresh, frozen (whether
or not previously cooked by steaming or in boiling water or
containing added sweetening matter) or dried (including
dehydrated, evaporated or freeze-dried. The Notes further
specifically state that the addition of small quantities of sugar
does not affect the classification of fruit in this Chapter, and
that the Chapter also includes dried fruit (e.g., dates and
prunes), the exterior of which may be covered with a deposit of
dried natural sugar....
Importer contends that the subject merchandise is properly
classifiable under subheading 2008.99.2500, HTSUS, which provides
for dates, otherwise prepared or preserved. Importer bases this
claim on the premise that the sugar coating and the maceration
process render the subject dates as "fruits otherwise prepared"
as well as "containing added sugar". The Explanatory Notes to
this heading state that this heading covers fruit preserved or
prepared otherwise (emphasis added) than by any of the processes
specified in other Chapters.
The dates in issue are heat dried, sugar coated, macerated
and chopped. These preparations, as well as the small amount of
sugar added to the subject dates, are clearly within the scope of
preparations and added sugar allowed under Chapter 8, HTSUS.
Therefore, since the subject dates are prepared by the
processes described in Chapter 8, HTSUS, they are precluded from
classification under Chapter 20, HTSUS.
In response to your inquiry concerning the country of
origin of the subject merchandise, Section 134.1(b) of the
Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.1(b)) provides that the
"[c]ountry of origin" means the country of manufacture,
production, or growth of any article of foreign origin entering
the United States. 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, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 134)
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Substantial transformation requires that "[t]here must be a
transformation; a new and different article must emerge, 'having
distinctive name, character, or use.'" Anheuser-Busch Brewing
Ass'n v. United States, 207 U.S. 556, 28 S. Ct 204 (1908). This
test remains the fundamental test for substantial transformation,
and has been applied to cases involving a variety of issues,
including marking cases. See Midwood Industries v. United States,
313 F. Supp. 951, 64 Cust. Ct. (1970).
In the instant case, the wholly grown, pitted dates, a
product of Pakistan, are shipped to Canada where they are
macerated, sugar coated, and chopped. The maceration process
merely serves to remove any remaining pits. The sugar coating
and chopping do not change the character or use of the dates.
They are still essentially the same dates and are recognizable as
such, having the same character and use as the dates exported
Accordingly, for marking purposes, the subject merchandise
has not undergone a substantial transformation and is therefore
a product of Pakistan.
In determining whether goods are eligible for reduced rates
under the U.S./Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the General
Rules of Origin for goods must be read in conjunction with the
definitions in Article 304, the Interpretative Rules in Annex
301.2, and the Specific Rules in Annex 301.2.
Article 301, Chapter 3, General Rules of the FTA state the
rules of origin for goods in pertinent part:
2. In addition, goods originate in the territory of a Party
if they have been transformed in the territory of either
Party or both Parties so as to be subject to a change in
tariff classification as described in Annex 301.2 or to
such other requirements as the Annex may provide when no
change in tariff classification occurs, and they meet the
other conditions set out in that Annex.
Section II of the Specific Rules in Annex 301.2 of the FTA
provides for merchandise classifiable under Chapters 6-14, HTSUS.
The rules of this section state in relevant part:
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1. A change from one chapter to another; no changes within
chapters except that agricultural and horticultural goods
grown in the territory of that Party shall be treated as
originating within the territory of that Party even if
grown from seed or bulbs imported from a third country.
Since the subject merchandise remains properly classifiable
under the same chapter (Chapter 8) after importation and
processing in Canada, such merchandise is not eligible for duty
preference under the FTA.
The subject merchandise is properly classifiable under
subheading 0804.10.8000, dutiable at a rate of 35 percent ad
The merchandise in issue, whole, pitted dates imported from
Pakistan into Canada where they are heat treated, macerated,
sugar coated and chopped for export to the United States, is a
product of Pakistan and not eligible for preference under the
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division
singh library 084928
6cc: Area Director, New York Seaport