Ms. Susan Riddle
Pacific Calcium, Inc.
32117 Highway 17
Tonasket, WA 98855
Date of issuance of ruling:
This is in response to your request for an advance ruling on the tariff classification of Nature's Intent 4-13-0 Organic fish bone meal. This product is both manufactured and exported to Canada from Pacific Calcium, Inc., Tonasket, Washington, USA.
The product before the Agency is Nature's Intent 4-13-0 organic based fish bone meal, with lignosulfonate. The fish bone meal is blended and augured into granules and sprayed with a mixture of water and the lignosulfonate, and is then heat dried. The fish bone meal is what renders the product organic, with no other additional chemical or mineral fertilizers added.
The finished product is exported to various importers in Canada as a fertilizer, and is shipped in 2,000 pound tote bags. The granules are too large for animal feed and cannot be considered to be a powder.
The 4-13-0 marking on the manufacturer label is a fertilizer industry standard which denotes the percentage by weight of the three major nutrients required for healthy plant growth, always in the same order: nitrogen-phosphorous-potassium (N-P-K). Accordingly, the goods contain 4% nitrogen and 13% phosphorus in the form of phosphate (phosphorus salts).
Analysis and Justification
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 Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System.
General Interpretative Rule (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 (4 digits). Similarly, GIR 6 directs that classification shall be determined according to the terms of a subheading (6 digits).
Chapter 31 of the Customs Tariff covers fertilizers. Heading 31.01 covers animal or vegetable fertilizers, whether or not mixed together or chemically treated, and fertilizers produced by the mixing or chemical treatment of animal or vegetable products. The chemical treatment using lignosulfonate is the sole chemical processing that the feather meal undergoes. The lignosulfonate (sulfite and lignin) is used as a conditioner which aids in anti-caking and anti-dusting during the production of the feather meal granules.
Heading 23.01(flours, meals and pellets, of fish) was considered. However, even though the end of Explanatory Note (1) to heading 23.01 states that flours, meals and pellets may be used "for other purposes (e.g. as fertilizers)", the heading only includes flours and meals other than bones, horns, shells, etc. The goods before the Agency are crushed fish bone meal and are therefore excluded from heading 23.01.
Heading 31.05 covers other fertilizers. The goods are excluded from subheading 3105.10 as they are not put up in tablets or packages of a gross weight of 10kg or less. Other fertilizers include fertilizing substances (fish bone meal) with non-fertilizing substances (Explanatory Note (C )(1) to heading 31.05). The lignosulfonate (sulfite and lignin) is used as a conditioner which aids in anti-caking and anti-dusting during the production of the fish bone meal granules.
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.
In accordance with General Interpretative Rule #1 and the above Explanatory Notes, the Nature's Intent 4-13-0 Organic fish bone meal is classified under 3105.90.00.00 as other fertilizers.
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 the CBSA’s Administrative Monetary Penalty System, described in Memorandum D22-1-1.
All 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. The ruling will be published on the CBSA website in 30 days.
Manager, Tariff Policy Unit 'B'
Trade Policy Division
- Date modified: