On December 12, 2012, the Tariff Classification and Marking Branch published HQ H209838, an Internal Advice ruling letter pertaining to the classification of four different "Italian spumante" beverages.
These beverages were manufactured by adding flavoring to a base produced from a mash of malted barley. The importer argued that the products were classified under heading 2203, HTSUS, as beer, because they were based on "malt."
However, upon review CBP determined that the products were classified under heading 2206, HTSUS, as other fermented beverages, because their flavoring was added after the fermentation, thus causing them to fall outside the scope of heading 2203, HTSUS, as clarified in the Explanatory Notes. In addition, the products were not marketed and sold as beer as claimed by the importer, but rather as sparkling wine.