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HQ 226439

October 13, 1995
BOR-4-07/CON-13-02-R-IT-E 226439 GOB


Maureen E. Gray
Director, Customs Laws & Regulations
Barthco International, Inc.
7575 Holstein Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19153

RE: Instruments of international traffic; 19 U.S.C. 1322; 19 CFR 10.41a; Skyteller foreign exchange machines; Currency as merchandise; Aircraft equipment

Dear Ms. Gray:

This is in response to your letter dated September 25, 1995 on behalf of Brinks Incorporated ("Brinks").


You request that certain items described as Skyteller foreign exchange machines be designated as instruments of international traffic within the meaning of 19 U.S.C. 1322 (a) and 19 CFR 10.41a. You also request that the currency held in the arriving container be documented to Customs on a CF 4790 upon arrival.

You state as follows, in pertinent part:

Brinks is currently working with United Airlines for the introduction of the "Skyteller" service to their international flights leaving from and arriving in San Francisco International Airport (Port Code 2801) and Chicago's O'Hare Airport (Port Code 3901).

The Forde Money Changer, "Skyteller," is a battery powered, multi-currency, sales terminal which stores currency information and stock information for duty- free products on a removable "Skyteller" card. ...

Upon U.S. arrival of the international flight, the Skyteller money changer unit will be picked up by Brinks personnel and transported back to Brinks currency processing center under their Carrier Bond...

The "Skyteller" money changer will be emptied and refilled at Brink's currency processing center in the now [sic] city of departure with the foreign currency of the country(ies) of destination. Each "Skyteller" unit will hold approximately $10,000 in foreign currency notes - the largest foreign note valued at no more than $100.

The submission indicates that the dimensions of the Skyteller unit are: 115 mm high, 200 mm wide, and 330 mm deep.

You stated telephonically that Brinks anticipates the following use of the Skyteller units: four units will be employed on each flight; initially five to ten units will be used each day; depending upon how sales of the unit proceed, within one year it estimates that 100 units will be used daily.


Whether the Skyteller units may be designated as instruments of international traffic within the meaning of 19 U.S.C. 1322(a) and 19 CFR 10.41a.


19 U.S.C. 1322(a) states in part:

Vehicles and other instruments of international traffic, of any class specified by the Secretary of the Treasury, shall be excepted from the application of the customs laws to such extent and subject to such terms and conditions as may be prescribed in regulations or instructions of the Secretary of the Treasury.

The Customs Regulations issued under the authority of 19 U.S.C. 1322 are contained in 19 CFR 10.41a. 19 CFR 10.41a(a)(1) designates lift vans, cargo vans, shipping tanks, skids, pallets, caul boards, and cores for textile fabrics arriving (whether loaded or empty) in use or to be used in the shipment of merchandise in international traffic as instruments for international traffic.

19 CFR 10.41a(a)(1) also authorizes the Commissioner of Customs to designate as instruments of international traffic such additional articles or classes of articles as he shall find should be so designated. Instruments so designated may be released without entry or the payment of duty, subject to the provisions of 19 CFR 10.41a. Instruments so designated are also stated to be duty-free in subheading 9803.00.50, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States.

To qualify as an instrument of international traffic within the meaning of 19 U.S.C. 1322(a) and 19 CFR 10.41a, an article must be used as a container or holder; the article must be substantial, suitable for and capable of repeated use, and used in significant numbers in international traffic. See e.g. Headquarters decisions 108084, 108658, 109665, and 109702.

19 U.S.C. 1401(c) defines merchandise as follows:

(c) Merchandise

The word "merchandise" means goods, wares, and chattels of every description, and includes merchandise the importation of which is prohibited, and monetary instruments as defined in section 5312 of Title 31.

31 U.S.C. 5312(a)(3) defines monetary instruments as follows:

(3) "monetary instruments" means -

(A) United States coins and currency; and

(B) as the Secretary may prescribe by regulation, coins and currency of a foreign country, travelers' checks, bearer negotiable instruments, bearer investment securities, bearer securities, stock on which title is passed on delivery, and similar material.

Pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1401(c) and 31 U.S.C. 5312(a)(3), the currency in the Skyteller units is merchandise.

We further determine that the Skyteller units are not aircraft equipment. In T.D. 49815(4), which pertained to vessel equipment and supplies, we stated:

The term "equipment", as used in section 309, as amended, includes portable articles necessary and appropriate for the navigation, operation or maintenance of the vessel and for the comfort and safety of the persons on board. It does not comprehend consumable supplies either for the vessel and its appurtenances or for the passengers and the crew. The following articles, for example, have been held to constitute equipment: rope, sail, table linens, bedding, china, table silverware, cutlery, bolts and nuts.

We note additionally that even if the Skyteller units were considered to be aircraft equipment, the units would be considered imported merchandise when they are "landed and delivered." 19 U.S.C. 1446, made applicable to aircraft by 19 CFR 122.2, states in pertinent part: ...Any such supplies, ships' stores, sea stores, or equipment landed and delivered from such vessel shall be considered and treated as imported merchandise...

After a review of the information submitted, and based on the determinations supra, we determine that the Skyteller units meet the requirements to be designated as instruments of international traffic and that they are appropriately designated as such.

Pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 5316, a person must file a report (on CF 4790) when the person knowingly transports monetary instruments of more than $10,000 at one time into or out of the United States or when the person receives monetary instruments of more than $10,000 at one time transported into the United States from or through a place outside the United States.


The Skyteller units are designated as instruments of international traffic within the meaning of 19 U.S.C. 1322(a) and 19 CFR 10.41a.


International Trade Compliance Division

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