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HQ 227120

August 9, 1996

BOR-4-07-RR:IT:EC 227120 GOB


Jeffrey A. Meeks, Esq.
Meeks & Sheppard
330 Madison Avenue
39th Floor
New York, N.Y. 10017

RE: Instruments of international traffic; 19 U.S.C. 1322; 19 CFR 10.41a

Dear Mr. Meeks:

This is in response to your letter of July 19, 1996 on behalf of Nippodenso Company, Ltd.


You request that certain items be designated as instruments of international traffic within the meaning of 19 U.S.C. 1322 and 19 CFR 10.41a. You describe the items as follows:

R-5 DUNNAGE TRAY & URETHANE BAR (Part Nos. 989921 and 989938-3020) This is a thermo-formed tray made of high density polyethylene with spaces for twenty (20) starters. The trays are stackable, both when loaded with starters and when empty. When filled, they are stacked approximately six high on a pallet, with the R-6 lid described below covering the uppermost tray and its contents ... These trays are 1120 mm long by 950 mm wide by 150 mm high and are extremely durable with an anticipated life of approximately ten (10) years. Integral to the trays are the urethane bars on which the starters sit when placed in the trays. There are four bars to a tray and the trays are never used without the bars. The bars are 880 mm long by 55 mm wide by 25 mm high and are expected to last for several trips, at least one (1) year...

R-6 DUNNAGE LID (Part No. 989921-0120) This lid is the cover for the above-described starter trays. Several trays (usually six) are stacked on a single pallet and then covered with one of these lids. The lid is also thermo-formed from high density polyethylene. They measure 1106 mm long by 936 mm wide by 45 mm high and have an estimated life of ten (10) years...

R-9 SLIP SHEET (Part No. 989918-0530) These sheets of polypropylene are used in place of wooden pallets to help in the packing and transport of goods. They measure 1080 mm long by 995 mm wide by 2 mm thick. The life expectancy of these sheets is ten (10) years...

TUBE WITH END CAPS (Hitachi and Toshiba) There are two styles of rectangular plastic tubes made of clear vinyl chloride, each available in two sizes. Each has two plastic end caps, and they are used to contain and transport electrical components while protecting the electrical leads. The tubes are 300 mm by 30 mm by 10 mm and 260 mm by 30 mm by 10 mm. When shipped, they are taped together, 20 to a layer, with 5 layers to a box (100 tubes). These tubes are also expected to last up to ten (10) years...

POLYPROPYLENE PACKAGE (Part No. 989149-0260) This item is a polypropylene formed tray molded to hold twenty-five (25) condensors or regulators in place without damage. Four (4) of these trays are stacked together with a paperboard separator between each tray inside a corrugated cardboard sleeve. While the paperboard separators and the cardboard sleeve are disposable, the trays are intended for repetitive use, having a useful life of up to ten (10) years. In use these "packages" are very similar to the dunnage trays described above. They measure 430 mm in length, 260 mm in width and 45 mm [in height].

You have submitted photographs of each of the above-described items.

In a letter dated August 6, 1996, you state:

Each item is subject to an approximate cycle time of loading, export, import, storage in plant and re-export of approximately 3.5 months. Consequently, each unit is imported about 4 times per year. The flow is somewhat constant, with 4 import shipments per week or about 200 shipments per year.

You also provide the following information with respect to the number of each item which are currently in use:

R-5 Dunnage tray & urethane bar - 5,700 trays and 23,040 bars in use.
R-6 Dunnage lid - approximately 945 in use. R-9 Slip sheet - 9,000 in use.
Tube with end caps (Hitachi and Toshiba) - 90,000 Hitachi cartridges and 50,000 Toshiba-style cartridges in use.
Polypropylene packages - 21,000 in use.


Whether the subject items 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 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 Headquarters decisions 108658, 109665, and 109702.

After a review of the information submitted, we determine that all of the subject articles meet the requirements to be designated as instruments of international traffic. They are all substantial, suitable for and capable of repeated use, and used in significant numbers in international traffic.


The following items, as described supra, are designated as instruments of international traffic within the meaning of 19 U.S.C. 1322(a) and 19 CFR 10.41: R-5 dunnage tray and urethane bar (part nos. 989921 and 989938-3020); R-6 dunnage lid (part no. 989921-0120); R-9 slip sheet (part no. 989918-0530); tube with end caps (Hitachi and Toshiba); and polypropylene package (part no. 989149-0260).


International Trade Compliance

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