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HQ 225934

June 12, 1995

DRA-4/DRA-2-02-R:C:E 225934 AJS


Regional Director
Commercial Operations
U.S. Customs Service
10 Causeway Street, Room 801
Boston MA 02222-1056

RE: 19 U.S.C. 1313(j); "exportation" of luggage to cruise ship; 19 CFR 101.1(k); C.S.D. 84-6; HQ 222284; HQ 223791.

Dear Madame:

This is in reply to your internal advice request of January 13, 1995, (your file DRA-1-0:CO:L DJG) concerning unused merchandise drawback and RDS Imports.


RDS imports various types of luggage from Italy and proposes to sell this luggage to the operators of a cruise line. The luggage will be sold to passengers while in international waters. RDS wishes to claim unused merchandise drawback for merchandise laden aboard the cruise vessels. Your request states that the goods will leave the U.S. only temporarily, with no actual foreign destination. The goods are not intended to become part of the commerce of any foreign country. The luggage is expected to be returned to the U.S., after a brief cruise, through the same port from which the passengers embarked.


Whether the subject merchandise is eligible for unused merchandise drawback pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1313(j)(1). More specifically, whether the luggage is exported within the meaning of section 1313(j)(1).


19 U.S.C. 1313(j)(1) requires that imported merchandise be exported in order to qualify for unused merchandise drawback. 19 CFR 101.1(k) provides that "exportation" means a severance of goods from the mass of things belonging to this country with the intention of uniting them to the mass of things belonging to some foreign country. The shipment of merchandise abroad with the intention of returning it to the United States with a design to circumvent provisions of restrictions or limitations in the tariff laws or to secure a benefit accruing to imported merchandise is not an exportation. Merchandise of foreign origin returned from abroad under these circumstances is dutiable according to its nature, weight, and value at the time of its original arrival in this country. The subject luggage does not satisfy the description of "exportation". There is no intent to unite the luggage with the mass of things belonging to a foreign country. The luggage will only leave the U.S. temporarily, and be returned after the cruise. Therefore, the subject luggage does not satisfy the exportation requirements of section

In Customs Service Decision (C.S.D.) 84-6, Customs ruled that nonconsumable souvenir articles delivered to gift shops for sale to passengers on cruise ships could not be considered as articles exported to a foreign country because the ultimate destination of the souvenir articles was the U.S. In that case, the merchandise was laden aboard the vessel in the U.S., the vessels departed the U.S. for a cruise at sea, and returned to the U.S. The rational for Customs decision was there was no showing of intent to export these articles to a foreign country. We find this C.S.D. instructive for determining that there is also no intent to export the subject luggage. We also refer you to HQ 222284 (7/30/90) and HQ 223791 (4/15/92) for other decisions in which Customs determined that an exportation did not occur under similar circumstances.


The subject merchandise is not subject to unused merchandise drawback pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1313(j)(1) because the luggage is not exported within the meaning of this provision.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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