Monday, February 26, 2007

Ahh, The Rich Coffee of Canada!

Customs and Border Protection is taking a second look at the country of origin marking of roasted coffee from Canada. In the February 14, 2007 Bulletin, CBP announced that it intends to modify NY R03084 to hold that the country of origin is the counrty in which the beans were roasted, rather than where they were harvested.

Lucky for Starbucks, Caribou, Pete's, and the rest of the caffeine pushers, roasted coffee is exempt from origin marking. But, the interesting question is whether the exemption permits an importer to identify the coffee by the country or region of harvesting where it is legally of Canadian origin. That would seem, at least without the benefit of actual research, to present a problem for coffee sellers who want to identify their product as Sulawesi, Ethiopian, Jamaican, or Kona. If the legal origin is Canada, the package is going to have to be pretty clear about that.

The more general lesson to take from this is that when you import something via Canada or Mexico, you need to consider whether it is the "good of a NAFTA country" for marking purposes. If so, the NAFTA marking rules of 19 CFR 102 apply even though your product might be from Sumatra or El Salvador.

No comments: