Monday, August 24, 2009

Section IV of the HTSUS

Thank you for joining us for our series on classification. Last Monday, we explored the articles contained in Section III of the HTSUS. Today, we will study the various commodities covered in Section IV of the HTSUS. Having a good general knowledge of the products covered in each section and chapter will expedite the classification process and improve accuracy of your classifications.

Answer to Section III Question

Section IV covers chapters 16 through 24, which contain prepared foods, beverages, liquor and tobacco. As you can see, we are progressing from the most basic substances, the live animals, plants and vegetables to goods that have been processed from these substances. Most of the goods covered in these chapters are subject to the regulations of at least one of the other government agencies such as the FDA, USDA, APHIS, ATF and IRS.

Chapter 16 covers meat and fish preparations such as sausage, caviar, tuna and packaged shrimp. Commodities from certain countries may be prohibited or restricted. Inspection Certificates must be issued by the foreign country for all shipments of meat and poultry products.

Chapter 17 contains products made of sugar such as glucose, fructose, maple sugar, molasses and candies not including cocoa. Some of the goods in this chapter are regulated by the imposition of quotas to help protect domestic sugar producers. Chapter 99 of the HTSUS provides quota information associated with sugars in this chapter.

Chapter 18 includes cocoa, chocolate and other products containing chocolate as a major ingredient. Merchandise in this chapter may be subject to quotas. Chapter 99 of the HTSUS provides quota information associated with articles of this chapter. In addition to the marking required by CBP, the FDA has special labeling requirements.

Chapter 19 covers processed foods of the bakery industry such as bread, dough, pasta, cakes, pastries, pizzas, chips and similar products. Be sure to read the Chapter Notes for exclusions. Certain products may be subject to quotas; quota information on products of this chapter may be found in Chapter 99.

Chapter 20 contains edible preparations of vegetables, fruits and nuts such as jams, pastes and natural fruit juices. The terms "homogenized and brix value" are defined in the Chapter Notes. Peanut butter and olives are subject to quantity restrictive quotas. In addition to the marking required by Customs, the FDA has special nutrition labeling requirements.

Chapter 21 includes miscellaneous edible preparations such as sauces, condiments, soups and ice cream. Chapter 21, Note 1 provides a list of products that are excluded from this chapter. Merchandise in this chapter must comply with FDA requirements. Mixed condiments, seasonings and ice cream may be subject to quotas. The FDA requires special nutrition labels.

Chapter 22 contains beverages and spirits such as bottled water, fruit juices, beer, wine, liquors and vinegar. Federal excise taxes are due at the time of entry on distilled spirits. These taxes can often be very expensive; therefore, importers of these commodities often make warehouse entries. In addition to the marking required by CBP, ATF has extensive labeling requirements and maintains pre-approval of all labels on alcoholic beverages.

Chapter 23 covers prepared animal feeds and other products unfit for human consumption such as pet and animal foods. In addition to the marking required by CBP, the FDA and individual states have special labeling requirements.

Chapter 24 includes tobacco and tobacco products such as cigars, cigarettes and wrappers. Products of this chapter must meet the strict requirements of ATF. These products require payment of an excise tax, in addition to the customs duties and are subject to special labeling and ingredient reporting requirements.

Classify “Vanilla Flavored Protein Powder” containing 75 percent soy protein isolate, 23 percent milk protein concentrate, less than 2 percent lecithin, and less than one percent silicon dioxide. The powder is usually added to a glass of milk, fruit juice or vegetable juice. It can also be used as an ingredient in baking, or it can be sprinkled onto cereals, salads or soups.

Join us next week for the answer to this week’s classification question and a discussion of Section V of the HTSUS. If there are any specific commodities or sections of the HTSUS that you would like to see discussed in this series, please feel free to post a comment or send your suggestions to

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