Mr. Gurmej Singh
159 Bayne Crescent
Cambridge, Ontario N1T 1K4
RE: The tariff classification and status under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), of bacon from Denmark; Article 509
Dear Mr. Singh:
In your letter, dated February 7, 1996, you requested a ruling on the status of bacon from Denmark under the NAFTA.
The product is frozen, rindless, cured, smoked or unsmoked, back pork bacon slabs. The ingredients are backs, water, salt, sodium nitrite, and sodium ascorbate. During processing, pork loins with belly strips are trimmed of rind; loin ribs are excised, and superfluous fat and bone remnants are removed.
The pork back bacon slabs will be exported from Denmark to Canada. In Canada further processing procedures will take place, and then the finished product will be imported into the United States.
The further processing procedures that will take place in Canada are described thus:
1. The temperature of the frozen back pork bacon slabs will be reduced from -5 degrees Centigrade to -7 degrees Centigrade.
2. Merchandise will be sliced.
3. The finished product will be vacuum packed in packaging of various sizes and weight.
4. Forty pound boxes will be stacked on skids for transportation.
The applicable tariff provision for the bacon will be 0210.12.0020, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for meat and edible meat offal, salted, in brine, dried or smoked; edible flours and meals of meat or meat offal, meat of swine, bellies (streaky) and cuts thereof, bacon. The general rate of duty will be 1.9 cents per kilogram.
The merchandise does not qualify for preferential treatment under the NAFTA because one or more of the non-originating materials used in the production of the goods will not undergo the change in tariff classification required by General Note 12 (t)/2, HTSUSA.
The marking rules used for determining whether a good is a good of a NAFTA country are contained in TD 94-4 (adding a new Part 102, Customs Regulations). Part 102 of the interim amendments to the Customs Regulations, sets forth the "NAFTA Marking Rules" for purposes of determining whether a good is a good of a NAFTA country for marking purposes. Section 102.11 of the interim regulations articulates the required hierarchy for determining country of origin for marking purposes.
Section 102.11 (a)(3) states that the country of origin of a good is the country in which "each foreign material incorporated in that good undergoes an applicable change in tariff classification set out in Section 102.20, and satisfies any other applicable requirements of that section, and all other applicable requirements of these rules are satisfied." Section 102.20 (a) articulates the tariff shifts that are required for merchandise that is classifiable in Chapter 2, HTS.
Applying the NAFTA Marking Rules set forth in Part 102 of the interim regulations to the facts of this case, we find that, for marking purposes, the imported bacon is a good of Denmark, a non-NAFTA country.
This merchandise is not subject to quota restrictions at this time.
Questions regarding import regulations administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture may be addressed to that agency at the following location:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
A.P.H.I.S., Veterinary Services
Federal Building, Room 756
6505 Belcrest Road
Hyattsville, MD 20782
This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).
A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Ralph Conte at (212) 466-5759.
If you wish to request an administrative review of this ruling, submit a copy of this ruling and all relevant facts and arguments within 30 days of the date of this letter, to the Director, Commercial Rulings Division, Headquarters, U.S. Customs Service, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW, Franklin Court, Washington, DC 20229.
Roger J. Silvestri