CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 086216 STB
Ms. Aime Sabourin
Sabourin Seed Service Ltd.
St. Jean, Manitoba, Canada ROG 2BO
RE: Request for Reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter 835842
concerning the tariff classification of dried yellow peas and a
mixture of dried peas with small grains.
Dear Ms. Sabourin:
This letter is in response to your request for a
reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 835842, dated
February 6, 1989, regarding the classification of dried yellow
peas and a mixture of dried peas with small grains under the
Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated
(HTSUSA). The peas are from Canada. A sample of the peas was
submitted to New York where they were examined and disposed of.
In NYRL 835842, your sample was classified under subheading
0713.10.10, HTSUSA, which provides for dried leguminous
vegetables, shelled, whether or not skinned or split: peas (Pisum
sativum): seeds of a kind for sowing.
The sample that was submitted consisted of whole, dry
yellow field peas (Pisum sativum), cleaned, and checked for
germination. These peas will be packed in bulk or poly bags.
The principal use of these peas in the United States will be to
blend them with small grains such as barley, oats, or triticale,
and then sow the blend to be harvested for forage for use in
livestock rations. You state that the peas should improve both
the yield and the quality of the forage.
On some occasions, as a result of periodic quality problems
with small grains in the United States, whole yellow peas will be
mixed with small grains of Canadian origin prior to exportation
to the United States. Normally, blends or mixtures of this kind
consist of 60% whole yellow peas and 40% small grains.
In your initial letter, dated January 17, 1989, you
requested that the peas and the blend be classified under
subheading 1209.29.00, HTSUSA. In your subsequent letter, dated
December 18, 1989, you did not state any reasons for disagreement
with the classification that was rendered in NYRL 835842, nor did
you argue for any alternative classification, but you did allude
to your original request.
(1) What is the proper tariff classification of whole, dry
yellow field peas (pisum sativum)?
(2) What is the proper tariff classification of a blend of
whole, dry yellow field peas (Pisum sativum) with small grains,
where the blend will consist of 60% peas and 40% small grains?
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Classification under the HTSUSA is governed by the General
Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that
classification is determined first in accordance with the terms
of the headings together with any relevant Section or Chapter
As noted above, you have requested that the peas and the
blend be classified in subheading 1209.29.00. This is not
possible because these peas, as dried leguminous vegetables, are
specifically excluded from heading 1209 by Note 3(a) of Chapter
12. Note 3(a) states in pertinent part:
Heading 1209 does not, however, apply to the following
even if for sowing:
(a) Leguminous vegetables or sweet corn (chapter 7)...
Note that chapter 7 is mentioned in this note as the proper
chapter for classification.
The fact that the crop is harvested before maturity, i.e.
before reproducing seeds, does not preclude classification in
heading 0713. The phrase "Seeds of a kind used for sowing"
(emphasis added) does not demand that the seeds themselves be
actually used to reproduce, or be placed in the ground. The
subheading only suggests their similarity to such seeds. In
fact, the Explanatory Notes to heading 1209, the classification
that you requested, state that "seeds of a kind used for sowing"
includes products "no longer capable of germination." (p. 82)
Heading 1209 also utilizes the phrase "seeds...of a kind used for
sowing." Additional U.S. Note 3 to Chapter 7 indicates that
articles of a kind can be covered by this chapter whether they
can be used for food, sowing or planting. Clearly, then, the
proper classification for the peas is in heading 0713.
To determine the classification of the blend of peas and
small grains, reference must be made to GRI 3(b). GRI 3(b)
(b) Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different
materials or made up of different components, and
goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot
be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be
classified as if they consisted of the material or
the component which gives them their essential
character, insofar as this criterion is
In this case, it is clear that we are dealing with a mixture.
The Explanatory notes to GRI 3(b), which constitute the official
interpretation of the tariff at the international level, set out
the following test for determining essential character:
The factor which determines essential character
will vary as between different kinds of goods.
It may, for example, be determined by the nature
of the material or component, its bulk, quantity,
weight or value, or by the role of a constituent
material in relation to the use of the goods.
As you stated, these blends will normally consist of 60% whole
yellow peas and 40% small grains. It is the peas that improve
the forage crop and this principal use is the reason that you
import the peas alone and the blend. It is thus our
determination that the peas provide the essential character of
the blend (or mixture) as they are present in the greatest
quantity and perform the central role in the use of the exported
The whole, yellow dried peas when imported alone, and the
blend of 60% peas and 40% small grains, are properly
classifiable under subheading 0713.10.10, HTSUSA as Dried
leguminous vegetables, shelled, whether or not skinned or split:
Peas (Pisum savitum): Seeds of a kind used for sowing. The rate
of duty is 3.3 cents per kilogram. Goods classified under
subheading 0713.10.10, HTSUSA, which have originated in the
territory of Canada, will be entitled to a 2.9 cents per kilogram
rate of duty under the United States-Canada Free Trade Agreement
(FTA) upon compliance with applicable regulations.
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division