Mr. Richard Becker
Mariani Packing Company
500 Crocker Drive
Vacaville, CA 95688
RE: The tariff classification and country of origin marking of snack mixes from the United Kingdom
Dear Mr. Becker:
In your letter dated May 3, 2006 you requested a tariff classification and country of origin marking ruling.
Ingredients breakdowns for three snack mixes were submitted with your letter. Additional information concerning the processing of the ingredients was received on June 1, 2006. Organic Raisin & Cashew Mix is composed of 62 percent raisins (“dressed” with 0.5 percent sunflower oil) and 37.5 percent cashew nuts. Organic Superfruit Nuts & Seeds Mix consists of 56 percent oil-dressed raisins, 16 percent pumpkin seeds, 14.5 percent cashew nuts, and 13 percent almonds. Organic Superfruit & Seeds Mix contains 28.5 percent, each, of oil-dressed raisins, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower kernels, and 14 percent pine kernels.
The oil-dressed raisins are products of the United States, the cashew nuts are products of India, the pumpkin seeds, sunflower kernels, and pine kernels are products of China, and the almonds are goods of Spain. All ingredients have been prepared in their respective countries of origin and imported into the United Kingdom in bulk. The raisins were washed, graded, sorted, and dressed with oil, the cashew nuts and almonds were shelled, graded, and sorted, the pumpkin seeds were extracted from the fruit, peeled, graded, and sorted, the sunflower kernels and pine kernels were removed from the flower or cone, hulled, graded, and sorted. In the United Kingdom the ingredients are inspected, mixed according to the prescribed formulas, and retail packaged.
The applicable subheading for the Organic Raisin & Cashew Mix will be 0813.50.0060, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for fruit, dried…mixtures of nuts or dried fruits of this chapter…other. The rate of duty will be 14 percent ad valorem.
The applicable subheading for the Organic Superfruit Nuts & Seeds Mix and the Organic Superfruit & Seeds Mix will be 1209.91.8055, HTSUS, which provides for seeds, fruits and spores of a kind used for sowing…other…vegetable seeds…other… pumpkin. The rate of duty will be 1.5 cents per kilogram.
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.
As provided in section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(b)), the country of origin marking is considered conspicuous if the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. is able to find the marking easily and read it without strain.
With regard to the permanency of a marking, section 134.41(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(a)), provides that as a general rule marking requirements are best met by marking worked into the article at the time of manufacture. For example, it is suggested that the country of origin on metal articles be die sunk, molded in, or etched. However, section 134.44, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.44), generally provides that any marking that is sufficiently permanent so that it will remain on the article until it reaches the ultimate purchaser unless deliberately removed is acceptable.
Applying the Marking Rules set forth in section 304 of the regulations
we find that the Organic Raisin & Cashew Mix is a good of the United States and India, the Organic Superfruit Nuts & Seeds Mix is a good of the United States, China, India, and Spain, and the Organic Superfruit & Seeds Mix is a good of the United States and China for marking purposes.
If a good is determined to be an article of U.S. origin, it is not subject to the country of origin marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. §1304. Whether an article may be marked with the phrase "Made in the USA" or similar words denoting U.S. origin, is an issue under the authority of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). We suggest that you contact the FTC Division of Enforcement, 6th and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20508 on the propriety of proposed markings indicating that an article is made in the U.S.
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 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 Stanley Hopard at 646-733-3029.
Robert B. Swierupski