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HQ 111941

March 15, 1995

VES-13-18-CO:R:IT:C 111941 GEV


Port Director
U.S. Customs Service
Vessel Repair Liquidation Unit, Room 303
423 Canal Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130-2341

RE: Vessel Repair Entry No. VR-C53-0014355-5; S/S ULTRAMAR; V-84; Post-Repair Cleaning; 19 U.S.C. ? 1466

Dear Sir:

This is in response to a memorandum from the Acting DARC, Commercial Operations Division, dated October 3, 1991, forwarding for our review an application for relief from duties assessed pursuant to 19 U.S.C. ? 1466. Our findings on this matter are set forth below.


The S/S ULTRAMAR is a U.S.-flag vessel owned by American Maritime Transport, Inc. The subject vessel had foreign shipyard work performed on her in Portugal during February of 1991. The vessel arrived in the United States at the port of Galveston, Texas, on March 12, 1991. A vessel repair entry was filed on the date of arrival.

Pursuant to an authorized extension of time, an application for relief with supporting documentation was timely filed on July 9, 1991. The applicant requests relief for a myriad of items contained within the above-referenced entry. The New Orleans Vessel Repair Liquidation Unit seeks guidance regarding the following: the sufficiency of the shipyard invoice; the notation "ABS/USCG Inspection" appearing throughout the shipyard invoice; cleaning after repairs and removal of debris.


Whether the foreign shipyard costs for which the applicant seeks relief are dutiable pursuant to 19 U.S.C. ? 1466.


Title 19, United States Code, ? 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 the foreign or coastwise trade, or vessels intended to engage in such trade.

At the outset we note that although the Solisnor shipyard invoice in question is other than exemplary in terms of clarity of cost breakdown, we are not of the opinion that it is flawed to the point where this deficiency alone necessitates it being denied in its entirety. However, the aforementioned deficiency will, where appropriate, be construed contra to the applicant's claims for relief.

Further in regard to the lack of clarity discussed above, the notation "ABS/USCG Inspection" appearing throughout the entire Solisnor invoice is in fact non-specific as to what work was actually done. Consequently, those costs associated therewith are dutiable.

The Solisnor invoice also contains references to "cleaning after repairs" and "removal of debris." Pursuant to the "but for" test enunciated by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Texaco Marine Services, Inc. and Texaco Refining and Marketing, Inc. v. United States, Docket No. 93-1354, decided December 29, 1994 (affirming the decision of the U.S. Court of International Trade at 815 F.Supp. 1484 (1993)), post-repair cleaning and protective coverings (the latter of which is also contained within the Solisnor invoice at Item 131) for repair work are dutiable under 19 U.S.C. ? 1466. Although the costs for "removal of debris" are segregated from those for "cleaning after repairs", the invoice is devoid of any detailed description supporting a meaningful distinction. Accordingly, the subject costs for "cleaning after repairs," "removal of debris" and protective coverings are dutiable.


The foreign shipyard costs for which the applicant seeks relief are dutiable pursuant to 19 U.S.C. ? 1466 as discussed in the Law and Analysis portion of this ruling.


Arthur P. Schifflin

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