Mr. Vladimir E. Papazov
VI Trade Corp.
22 Salk Drive
Highland, NY 12528

RE: The tariff classification and country of origin marking of raw hazelnuts from Turkey via Bulgaria.

Dear Mr. Papazov:

In your letter dated August 21, 2013, you requested a tariff classification and country-of-origin marking ruling.

You have outlined a scenario in which raw, natural, shelled hazelnuts of Turkish origin will be delivered to a processor in Bulgaria. In Bulgaria, the nuts will be cleaned and put up in retail bags weighing approximately 3.5 ounces each. The bagged nuts, still in a raw, natural, shelled state, will then be imported into the United States. You seek a determination as to the proper tariff classification and country of origin, for marking purposes, of the retail-packed nuts upon their arrival in the U.S.

The applicable subheading for the bags of raw, natural, shelled hazelnuts will be 0802.22.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for other nuts, fresh or dried, whether or not shelled or peeled: hazelnuts or filberts (Corylus spp.): shelled. The rate of duty will be 14.1 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

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

These goods may also be subject to regulations or restrictions administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Division (APHIS). You may contact that agency regarding possible applicable regulations at the following location: U.S. Department of Agriculture APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine Permit Unit 4700 River Road, Unit 136 Riverdale, MD 20737-1236 Telephone number: 877-770-5990

With regard to country of origin, 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.

Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 134), implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304. Pursuant to 19 CFR Section 134.1(b), the country of origin is the country of manufacture, production or growth of any article of foreign origin entering the U.S. Further work or material added to an article in another country must effect a substantial transformation in order to render such country the country of origin within the meaning of Part 134 of the regulations.

A substantial transformation occurs when a new and different article of commerce emerges from a process with a new name, character or use different from that possessed by the article prior to processing. See United States v. Gibson-Thomsen Co., Inc., 27 C.C.P.A. 267 (C.A.D. 98) (1940).

In the present case, the cleaning and packaging of the nuts in Bulgaria does not effect a substantial transformation. Accordingly, we find that after being processed in Bulgaria, the goods currently under discussion retain their initial country-of-origin status for CBP marking purposes. Therefore, the individual retail packages of hazelnuts entering the United States must be marked to indicate that their contents are a product of the original country, e.g., “Product of Turkey.”

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 Nathan Rosenstein at (646) 733-3030.


Myles B. Harmon
Acting Director
National Commodity Specialist Division