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HQ 110931


June 7, 1990

VES-13-18 CO:R:P:C 110931 JBW

CATEGORY: CARRIER

Chief, Technical Branch
Commercial Operations
Pacific Region
1 World Trade Center
Long Beach, CA 90831

RE: Vessel Repair Entry No. 110-0103957-4; Date of Entry: November 30, 1989; Date of Arrival: November 25, 1989; Vessel: PRESIDENT HARRISON V-32

Dear Sir:

This letter is in response to your transmittal of March 2, 1990, forwarded for our review and ruling regarding a request for remission submitted by Mr. Robert Weeks of American President Lines involving the above referenced vessel repair entry, items 1 and 2.

FACTS:

The record reflects that the subject vessel arrived at the port of Seattle, Washington, on November 25, 1989. Vessel repair entry number 110-0103957-4, Customs Form 226, was filed on November 30, 1989, indicating foreign repairs to the ship's starboard gangway and her diesel generator power pack container performed by The Yokohama Engineering Works, Ltd., in Yokohama, Japan.

American President Lines filed an application for relief on February 13, 1990, following a timely filed request for extension of time. The application asserts that damages to the gangway and power pack resulted from heavy weather. The documentation submitted indicates that the damages occurred between midnight and 6:00 A.M. on October 31, 1989. During this time, the damage report places the wind speed at 45 knots and the height of sea at 25 feet (7.6 meters). The damage report for the gangway describes a "boarding sea." No documentation was submitted relating to the safety and seaworthiness of the vessel.

ISSUE:

Whether the foreign work performed on the subject vessel for which the applicant seeks relief is dutiable under 19 U.S.C. 1466 (1982).

LAW AND ANALYSIS:

Title 19, United States Code, section 1466, provides in pertinent part for payment of duty in the amount of 50 percent ad valorem on the cost of foreign repairs to vessels documented under the laws of the United States to engage in foreign or coastwise trade, or vessels intended to engage in such trade. The statute provides for the remission of the above duties in those instances where good and sufficient evidence is furnished to show that foreign repairs were compelled by "stress of weather or other casualty" and were necessary to secure the safety and seaworthiness of the vessel to enable her to reach her port of destination. 19 U.S.C. 1466(d)(1).

Customs Regulations require that certain supporting evidence be submitted with an application for relief for damages resulting from stress of weather. This evidence includes photocopies of the relevant parts of the vessel's logs, certification of any claimed casualty by the master or other responsible vessel officer with personal knowledge of the facts, and a certification by the master that the repairs were necessary for the safety and seaworthiness of the vessel to enable her to reach her port of destination in the United States. 19 C.F.R.

In Treasury Decision 78-180, we set out guidelines to be used when relief is requested on the basis that the vessel encountered high winds. T.D. 78-180, 12 Cust. B. & Dec. 382 (1978). We held that winds of force 9 on the Beaufort Scale, a numerical scale rating winds according to ascending velocity from zero (calm) to twelve (hurricane), accompanied by a reasonable description of the conditions and verified as required in the regulations, raise a presumption that damages caused were due to stress of weather. Id. The damage reports filed by the ship's master indicate winds of 45 knots, which represent a force 9 wind. R. de Kerchove, International Maritime Dictionary 52 (2d ed. 1961). Moreover, these reports describe "boarding seas" with heights of 25 feet. This evidence appears sufficient to support the claim that damages, and consequent repairs, to the gangway and the power pack resulted from the weather conditions described.

As noted above, to claim remission because of stress of weather, the applicant must demonstrate not only that the foreign repairs were compelled by stress of weather, but also that the repairs were necessary for the safety and seaworthiness of the vessel. Such evidence may take the form of a certificate furnished by the master as required by the regulation. The record in this case does not contain certification or any other statement by the master that the repairs were necessary for the safety and seaworthiness of the vessel to enable her to reach her United States port of destination. The application for relief, therefore, must be denied.

HOLDING:

The foreign work for which the applicant seeks relief is dutiable under 19 U.S.C. 1466.

Sincerely,

B. James Fritz
Chief

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