Mr. Jean-Pierre Desrosiers
501-781 Commune Street East
Montreal, QC H2Y 4A2
Date of issuance of ruling:
This is in response to your request for an advance ruling on the tariff classification of lactic acid fermented tofu spreads available in 7 flavours, which are manufactured and exported by France-based Le Sojami.
The products are lactic acid fermented tofu spreads available in 7 flavours: Olives, Turmeric, “Pepper 5 berries”, Chives, Shallots, Garlic & Fines herbs, Cumin & Basil. They contain 90-93% lactic acid fermented tofu plus some olive and/or canola oil and various seasonings, except for the Olive flavour (73% tofu and 20% olives). According to information provided, lactic acid fermented tofu has a texture like that of cheese spread. And while lactic starters are used, the final products are lactose and dairy free. They are packaged for retail sale in 125 gram plastic containers.
Analysis and Justification
Tofu is made by giving soy milk a heat treatment before adding a coagulant (in this case: lactic starters). Soy milk itself is ground soybeans dispersed in water, making the products dairy free. Soybeans having lost their essential character through this process, tofu is considered one of “Food preparations not elsewhere specified or included” under heading 21.06.
Section 10 of the Customs Tariff directs that classification of imported goods shall be determined in accordance with the General Rules for the Interpretation of the Harmonized System. Section 11 of the Customs Tariff states that in interpreting the headings and subheadings, regard shall be had to the World Customs Organization's (WCO) Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System.
General Interpretative Rule 1 (GIR 1) directs that titles of Sections, Chapters and sub-Chapters are provided for ease of reference only. For legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the heading and any relative Section and Chapter Notes. Similarly, General Interpretative Rule 6 (GIR 6) directs that classification shall be determined according to the terms of those subheadings and any related Subheading Notes.
The lactic acid fermented tofu spreads at issue are thus classified under Customs Tariff item 2188.8.131.52 “Food preparations not elsewhere specified or included” as per GIRs 1 and 6.
This ruling has been issued under paragraph 43.1(1)(c) of the Customs Act and will be honoured by the CBSA for future importations of the goods specified, provided the material facts and circumstances remain as originally presented; all conditions in the ruling have been met; the ruling has not been modified, revoked, revised, or cancelled; and the Customs Tariff legislation has not changed. Should there be a change in the material facts or circumstances pertaining to the goods, you must notify the CBSA as soon as possible. You may request that the advance ruling be modified or revoked as of the date of the change.
Importers should quote the advance ruling number at the time of importation in either the description field of the B3 entry document or on the Canada Customs Invoice. Exporters or producers should quote the advance ruling number on the Certificate of Origin or commercial invoice accompanying the goods.
Should you disagree with this advance ruling, you may file a dispute notice under subsection 60(2) of the Customs Act within 90 days of the date of issuance. Please see the procedures outlined in Appendix C of the CBSA’s Memorandum D11-11-3, Advance Rulings for Tariff Classification.
This advance ruling is considered reason to believe for the purposes of section 32.2 of the Customs Act and as described in Memorandum D22-1-1, Administrative Monetary Penalty System.
All D-Memoranda referenced in this letter may be accessed on the CBSA website.
Consent to the Public Release of the Advance Ruling
As per your consent statement, we will release this advance ruling to the public, in both official languages, in accordance with the procedures described in Memorandum D11-11-3.
Manager, Tariff Policy Unit 'B'
Trade Policy Division
- Date modified: