Main Idea: GSP eligibility requires in that an article be wholly the growth, product, or manufacture of a beneficiary developing country listed under GN 4(a) of the HTSUS, and applies provided that the article’s HTSUS classification and country of origin are not listed under GN 4(d).
In ruling N328056 (Oct. 4, 2022), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) discusses the tariff classification and Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) eligibility of individually quick frozen (IQF) strawberries from Egypt. The IQF strawberries at issue are 100% strawberry and do not contain any sugar, additional ingredients, or preservatives. The strawberries are grown, harvested, cleaned, sorted, and frozen in Egypt. After processing, the strawberries are packed in food-grade bag liners within 10 kg cardboard boxes and shipped to market in 40-foot ocean containers.
CBP determines that the IQF strawberries are classified under subheading 0811.10.0070, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for “Fruit and nuts, uncooked or cooked by steaming or boiling in water, frozen, whether or not containing added sugar or other sweetening matter: Strawberries: In immediate containers each holding more than 1.2 liters: Other.” The general rate of duty is 11.2 percent ad valorem.
CBP also considers whether the IQF strawberries are eligible for GSP treatment. GSP eligibility is defined under 19 U.S.C. 2463. Specifically, 19 U.S.C. 2463(3) provides, in relevant part, that:
“In order to be eligible for duty free treatment under this subchapter, an article—(A) must be wholly the growth, product, or manufacture of a beneficiary developing country, or (B) must be a new or different article of commerce which has been grown, produced, or manufactured in the beneficiary developing country.”
Furthermore, 19 U.S.C. 2463(2) provides in relevant part that:
“[t]he duty-free treatment provided under this subchapter shall apply to any eligible article which is the growth, product, or manufacture of a beneficiary developing country if—(i) that article is imported directly from a beneficiary developing country into the customs territory of the United States[.]”
Egypt is considered a beneficiary developing country for the purpose of the GSP, pursuant to General Note (GN) 4(a) of the HTSUS. However, GN 4(d) provides that:
“[a]rticles provided for in a provision for which a rate of duty of “Free” appears in the “Special” subcolumn of rate of duty column 1 followed by the symbol “A*” in parentheses, if imported from a beneficiary developing country set out opposite the provisions enumerated below, are not eligible for the duty-free treatment[.]” The “Special” duty rate for subheading 0811.10.00 HTSUS, is “Free” and the “A*” symbol in parentheses follows the Column 1 rate of duty column. CBP therefore references GN 4(d) and determines that the IQF strawberries from Egypt classified under 0811.10.0070, HTSUS, do not