Mr. William D. Outman, II
Baker & McKenzie
815 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006-4078
RE: The tariff classification of four tuna fish preparations from Thailand.
Dear Mr. Outman:
In your letter dated February 25, 2002, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client, Star-Kist Foods of Pittsburgh, PA.
The products in question, designated as “Tuna Creations,” are tuna preparations in four different flavors,--namely, tuna prepared as “Hickory Smoked” tuna, “Zesty Lemon Pepper” tuna, “Sweet and Spicy” tuna, and “Herb & Garlic” tuna. These tuna preparations are packaged in airtight foil pouches, holding 5 ounces, each, net weight, and consist of chunk light tuna which has been marinated in whichever flavor is indicated on the pouch. These marinated products are said to have the following composition. “Hickory Smoked” tuna consists of tuna (86.34 percent), with sunflower oil (5 percent), vegetable broth (5 percent) , water and smoke flavoring. “Zesty Lemon Pepper” tuna consists of tuna (approx. 85.5 percent), water (8.3 percent) vegetable broth (5 percent) and lemon pepper flavor (1.29 percent). “Sweet and Spicy” tuna consists of tuna (79.55 percent), water (6 percent), vinegar (5 percent), sunflower oil (2 percent) and flavorings (2.2 percent). “Herb & Garlic” tuna consists of tuna (70 percent), water (17 percent), sunflower oil (5 percent), Herb & Garlic flavor (5 percent), and vinegar (3 percent). Samples of these products were found to consist of small chunks and flakes of flavored tuna fish meat. The pouches contained only tuna meat pieces, colored slightly by the marinade, but with no apparent packing medium,--i.e.., the pouches contained only pieces of tuna, which had absorbed any marinade, and which were not packed in any accompanying medium , such as, for example, in water, in oil or in sauce.
The applicable subheading for these four “Tuna Creations” will be 1604.14, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), under the provision for tunas and skipjack, in airtight containers, not in oil. Within this provision, classification will be under either one of two further subheadings. First, if entered within the tariff rate quota period, this tuna product will be classified in subheading 1604.14.2040, HTS, the provision for tuna, not in oil, in airtight containers weighing with their contents not over 7 kilograms each, and not the product of any insular possession of the United States, for an aggregate quantity entered in any calendar year not to exceed 20 percent of the United States pack of canned tuna during the immediately preceding year, as reported by the National Marine Fisheries Service. The rate of duty will be 6 percent ad valorem. If entered after the tariff rate quota has been filled, this tuna product will be classified in subheading 1604.14.3040, HTS. The rate of duty will be 12.5 percent ad valorem. Note that the tariff rate quota for this merchandise opens on January 1 each calendar year, and closes when the full quota amount has been entered.
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 Thomas P. Brady at 646-733-3030.
Robert B. Swierupski