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HQ 955033

December 7, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 955033 ch


TARIFF NO.: 9804.00.35

District Director
U.S. Customs Service
Post Office Box 1641
335 Merchant Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96806

RE: Application for further review of Protest No. 3201-93- 100119 under 19 U.S.C., section 1514(c)(2); classification of a boat cradle; GRI 5(b); packing materials; not suitable for repetitive use.

Dear Sir:

The above-referenced protest was forwarded to this office for further review. We have considered the protest and our decision follows.


The subject merchandise is a boat cradle of wood (teak) used to ship a 65 foot boat from Hong Kong to Honolulu. The boat was classified under subheading 9804.00.35, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which extends duty Free treatment to boats entering the United States for personal use. The cradle was classified separately as an article of wood pursuant to subheading 4421.90.9540, HTSUSA. The applicable rate of duty under this provision is 5.1 percent ad valorem.


Whether the boat cradle should be classified with the boat as packing materials pursuant to General Rule of Interpretation


The wood boat cradle is classifiable as an article of wood pursuant to Chapter 44, HTSUSA. However, GRI 5(b) provides that:

Subject to the provisions of rule 5(a) above, packing materials and packing containers entered with the goods therein shall be classified with the goods if they are of a kind normally used for packing such goods. However, this provision is not binding when such packing materials or packing containers are clearly suitable for repetitive use.

Thus, if the boat cradle qualifies as "packing materials" as that term is used in GRI 5(b), it shall be classified as part of the vessel.

GRI 5(b) applies to packing materials which are "of a kind normally used for packing" the goods with which they are entered and are not "clearly suitable for repetitive use." Our National Import Specialist for boats has confirmed the fact that boat cradles are the usual packing for shipment of boats. However, as boat cradles are generally suitable for substantial re-use we classified the cradle separately at the time of entry.

Protestant argues that in this case the cradle is not suitable for re-use. Although teak wood boat cradles may be used to store boats on a seasonal basis, in this case it appears that the cradle was designed specifically for a single ocean crossing. The wood sustained water and other physical damage during shipment and will be dismantled after entry into the United States. Under these circumstances, we agree that the cradle is not "clearly suitable for repetitive use." Accordingly, the instant merchandise qualifies as "packing materials" pursuant to GRI 5(b) and shall be classified with the boat with which it was entered.


Therefore, based on the foregoing discussion, this protest should be granted in full. The boat cradle shall be classified with the boat with which it was entered under subheading 9804.00.35, which provides inter alia for boats and the usual equipment accompanying boats, imported in connection with the arrival of such person and to be used in the United States only for the transportation of such person, his family and guests, and such incidental carriage of articles as may be appropriate to his personal use of the conveyance. The applicable rate of duty is Free. A copy of this decision should be attached to the CF 19 Notice of Action to satisfy the notice requirement of section 174.30(a), Customs Regulations.

In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550-065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, this decision should be mailed by your office to the protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing of the decision. Sixty days from the date of the decision the Office of Regulations and Rulings will take steps to make the decision available to Customs personnel via the Customs Rulings Module in ACS and the public via the Diskette Subscription Service, Lexis, Freedom of Information Act and other public access channels.


John A. Durant, Director

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