Mr. Michael Adachi
Victoria Distillers Inc.
111-2506 Beacon Ave.
Sidney V8L 1Y2 British Columbia

RE:  The country of origin of Gin

Dear Mr. Adachi:

In your letter dated January 23, 2024, you requested a country of origin ruling.  The subject merchandise is described as gin composed of spirits that contain neutral grain alcohol, juniper berries, and other botanicals. 

You submitted additional information stating the gin is produced at your distillery in Canada from neutral grain alcohol of 192 proof sourced from suppliers in Canada and the Netherlands.  At the Canadian distillery, the grain alcohol is macerated with juniper and other botanicals and distilled, yielding approximately 83 percent recapture of the initial total volume and removing impurities such as light and heavy alcohols, and resulting in gin of approximately 183 proof.  In Canada, the gin is blended with water to 85 proof, packaged in bottles of 375 ml, 750 ml, 1000 ml, and 1750 ml, then labeled, boxed, and shipped to the United States.

You seek a determination as to the country of origin of the above-described product. 

The “country of origin” is defined in 19 C.F.R. §134.1(b) as “the country of manufacture, production, or growth of any article of foreign origin entering the United States.  Further work or material added to an article in another country must effect a substantial transformation in order to render such other country the ‘country of origin’ within the meaning of this part; however, for a good of a NAFTA or USMCA country, the marking rules set forth in part 102 of this chapter (hereinafter referred to as the part 102 Rules) will determine the country of origin.”

Pursuant to section 102.0, interim regulations, related to the marking rules, tariff-rate quotas, and other USMCA provisions, published in the Federal Register on July 6, 2021 (86 FR 35566), the rules set forth in §§102.1 through 102.18 and 102.20 determine the country of origin for marking purposes with respect to goods imported from Canada and Mexico.  Section 102.11 provides the required hierarchy for determining the country of origin of a good for marking purposes, with the exception of textile goods which are subject to the provisions of 19 C.F.R. §102.21.  See 19 C.F.R. §102.11.

Applied in sequential order, 19 C.F.R. Part 102.11(a) provides that the country of origin of a good is the country in which:

(1)  The good is wholly obtained or produced;

(2)  The good is produced exclusively from domestic materials, or

(3)  Each foreign material incorporated in that good undergoes an applicable change in tariff classification set out in Part 102.20 and satisfies any other applicable requirements of that section, and all other applicable requirements of these rules are satisfied.

“Domestic material” is defined in Section 102.1(d), as “a material whose country of origin as determined under these rules is the same country as the country in which the good is produced.”  “Foreign material” is defined in Section 102.1(e) as “a material whose country of origin as determined under these rules is not the same country as the country in which the good is produced.”

Because the product at issue contains neutral grain alcohol from the Netherlands and Canada, it is neither wholly obtained or produced, nor produced exclusively from domestic materials.  Therefore, sections 102.11(a)(1) and (a)(2) do not apply to the facts presented in this case.  Because the analysis of sections 102.11(a)(1) and 102.11(a)(2) does not yield a country of origin determination, we look to section 102.11(a)(3).

Section 102.11(a)(3) provides that the country of origin is the country in which “each foreign material incorporated in that good undergoes an applicable change in tariff classification as set forth in 19 CFR 102.20 and satisfies any other applicable requirements of that section.”  Each foreign material must be separately analyzed under 19 CFR 102.11(a)(3).

The applicable tariff shift rule found in section 102.20(a) provides as follows: HTSUS                        Tariff Shift and/or other requirements 2208.20-2208.70    A change to subheading 2208.20 through 2208.70, from any other subheading outside that group, except from subheading 2106.90; or A change to liqueurs or cordials of subheading 2208.70 from any other product.  

The product at issue incorporates the following three components: neutral grain alcohol sourced from the Netherlands (49.5 percent) and Canada (49.5 percent); juniper berries (0.4 percent), and other botanicals (0.3 percent).  Consistent with the referenced Section 102.1(e) definition, the foreign material contained in the product at issue is neutral grain alcohol from the Netherlands, which is classified in heading 2207, HTSUS.  The finished product, which is the gin, is classified in subheading 2208.50, HTSUS.  Accordingly, the tariff shift requirement is met.  Although the countries of origin of the remaining ingredients, specifically the juniper berries and other botanicals, are not known, this has no impact on meeting the tariff shift.  Even assuming, arguendo that the juniper berries and other botanicals are “foreign materials” within the meaning of Section 102.1(e), none of them are classified in subheadings 2208.20 through 2208.70, or subheading 2106.90.  Therefore, in accordance with 19 C.F.R. §102.11(a)(3), the country of origin of the gin for marking purposes is Canada.

The holding set forth above applies only to the specific factual situation and merchandise description as identified in the ruling request.  This position is clearly set forth in Title 19, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Section 177.9(b)(1).  This section states that a ruling letter is issued on the assumption that all of the information furnished in the ruling letter, whether directly, by reference, or by implication, is accurate and complete in every material respect.  In the event that the facts are modified in any way, or if the goods do not conform to these facts at time of importation, you should bring this to the attention of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and submit a request for a new ruling in accordance with 19 CFR 177.2.  Additionally, we note that the material facts described in the foregoing ruling may be subject to periodic verification by CBP.

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 and Border Protection 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, please contact National Import Specialist Frank Troise at [email protected].


Steven A. Mack
National Commodity Specialist Division