Yunming Gu
Wismettac Asian Foods Inc.
13409 Orden Drive Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670

RE: The tariff classification and country of origin of Chargrilled Chicken Skewers

Dear Mr. Gu:

In your letter dated April 25, 2024, you requested a tariff classification and country of origin determination ruling.

The subject merchandise is Chargrilled Chicken Skewers (also known as Yakitori). The product is comprised of chicken (83.13 percent), water, cassava starch, xylose, ginger, tripolyphosphate, salt, garlic and caramel color. You state that the chicken is slaughtered and cut up in the United States then exported frozen to China where it is prepared with the stated ingredients. The chicken is pre-dusted, skewered, steamed, sauced, chargrilled then individually quick frozen (IQF) and packed ten pieces per bag with a net weight of 500 grams.

The applicable subheading for the Chargrilled Chicken Skewers will be 1602.32.0040, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for: Other prepared or preserved meat, meat offal, blood or insects: Of chicken: Prepared meals: Other. The rate of duty will be 6.4 percent.

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 at

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.

The courts have held that a substantial transformation occurs when an article emerges from a process with a new name, character or use different from that possessed by the article prior to processing. United States v. Gibson-Thomsen Co., 27 CCPA 267, C.A.D. 98 (1940); National Hand Tool Corp. v. United States, 16 CIT 308 (1992), aff'd, 989 F. 2d 1201 (Fed. Cir. 1993); Anheuser Busch Brewing Ass'n v. United States, 207 U.S. 556 (1908) and Uniroyal Inc. v. United States, 542 F. Supp. 1026 (1982).

However, if the manufacturing or combining process is merely a minor one that leaves the identity of the article intact, a substantial transformation has not occurred. Uniroyal, Inc. v. United States, 542 F. Supp. 1026, 1029 (1982), aff'd, 702 F.2d 1022 (Fed. Cir. 1983). Substantial transformation determinations are based on the totality of the evidence. See Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) W968434, dated January 17, 2007, citing Ferrostaal Metals Corp. v. United States, 11 CIT 470, 478, 664 F. Supp. 535, 541 (1987).

In the case of the above-described Chargrilled Chicken Skewers, this office finds that the article is not substantially transformed by the processing that occurred in China. Accordingly, based on the information presented, the finished goods are products of the United States for CBP marking purposes.

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.

Please note that the question of whether the merchandise at issue may be marked with a phrase such as Product of U.S.A. is under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Division of Enforcement, which may be contacted for advice at 600 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580, or through the FTC's website 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 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Information on the Bioterrorism Act can be obtained by calling the FDA at 301.575.0156, or at the Web site

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 Ekeng Manczuk at [email protected].


Steven A. Mack
National Commodity Specialist Division