Mr. Patrick E. Mines
P. Mines Customs Services
28 Princess Street
P.O. Box 1197
Fort Erie, Ontario L2A 5Y2
RE: The tariff classification of a cocoa blend from Canada.
Dear Mr. Mines:
In your letter dated June 29, 1998, on behalf of Redpath Sugars, you
requested a tariff classification ruling. Your
request also asks for the country of origin for marking purposes of the product.
The subject merchandise contains 89 percent sugar and 11 percent cocoa
powder. The sugar is refined in Canada from raw sugar produced in Australia,
Brazil, Guatemala, South Africa or Columbia. The cocoa powder is produced in
either the United States, Canada or a non-NAFTA country from cocoa beans from a
non-NAFTA country. The cocoa blend will be produced in Canada and shipped to
the United States in 50, 100, 550, 600 or 2000 pound containers to be blended
with other ingredients in the production of drink mixes, dessert mixes or
The applicable tariff provision for the cocoa blend containing 89 percent
sugar and 11 percent cocoa powder will be 1806.10.2800, Harmonized Tariff
Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for cocoa
powder, containing added sugar or other sweetening matter: containing 65
percent or more but less than 90 percent by dry weight of sugar...articles
containing over 65 percent by dry weight of sugar described in additional U.S.
note 2 to chapter 17...other. The general rate of duty will be 35.6 cents per
This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs
Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).
This ruling letter is binding only as to the party to whom it is issued and
may be relied on only by that party.
Your inquiry also requests a ruling on the country of origin marking
requirements for imported articles which are processed in a NAFTA country prior
to being imported into the U.S. A marked sample was not submitted with your
letter for review.
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 the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. the English name of
the country of origin of the article. Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R.
Part 134) implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions
of 19 U.S.C. §1304.
The country of origin marking requirements for a "good of a NAFTA country"
are also determined in accordance with Annex 311 of the North American Free
Trade Agreement ("NAFTA"), as implemented by section 207 of the North American
Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat 2057)
(December 8, 1993) and the appropriate Customs Regulations. The Marking Rules
used for determining whether a good is a good of a NAFTA country are contained
in Part 102, Customs Regulations. The marking requirements of these goods are
set forth in Part 134, Customs Regulations.
Section 134.1(b) of the regulations, defines "country of origin" as
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
other country the "country of origin within this part; however, for a good of a
NAFTA country, the NAFTA Marking Rules will determine the country of origin.
Section 134.1(j) of the regulations, provides that the "NAFTA Marking
Rules" are the rules promulgated for purposes of determining whether a good is a
good of a NAFTA country. Section 134.1(g) of the regulations, defines a "good
of a NAFTA country" as an article for which the country of origin is Canada,
Mexico or the United States as determined under the NAFTA Marking Rules.
Section 134.45(a)(2) of the regulations, provides that a "good of a NAFTA
country" may be marked with the name of the country of origin in English, French
You state that the imported cocoa blend is processed in a NAFTA country
"Canada" prior to being imported into the U.S. Since, "Canada" is defined under
19 C.F.R. §134.1(g), as a NAFTA country, we must first apply the NAFTA Marking
Rules in order to determine whether the imported cocoa blend is a good of a
NAFTA country", and thus subject to the NAFTA marking requirements.
Part 102 of the regulations, sets forth the "NAFTA Marking Rules" for
purposes of determining whether a good is a good of a NAFTA country for marking
purposes. Section 102.11 of the regulations, sets forth the required hierarchy
for determining country of origin for marking purposes.
Applying the NAFTA Marking Rules set forth in Part 102 of the regulations
to the facts of this case, we find that the imported cocoa blend is a good of
the country which produced the raw sugar (Australia, Brazil, Guatemala, South
Africa or Columbia) for marking purposes, noting Section 102.11(b)(1).
This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 181 of the Customs
Regulations (19 C.F.R. Part 181).
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 John Maria at 212-466-5730.
Robert B. Swierupski