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HQ 113525

November 19, 1997

VES-13-18-RR:IT:EC 113525 LLB


Chief, Residual Liquidation and Protest Branch U.S. Customs Service
6 World Trade Center
New York, New York 10048

RE: Vessel repair; Defective Application for Relief; Vessel SEALAND ACHIEVER, V-358; Vessel repair entry number 514-3004965-3; Port of arrival New York, New York

Dear Sir:

Reference is made to your memorandum of August 4, 1995, which forwards for our review and consideration documentation seeking relief from the assessment of vessel repair duties filed by Sea-Land Service, Inc., in connection with the above-captioned vessel repair entry.


The vessel SEALAND ACHIEVER underwent extensive shipyard operations while outside of the United States. A vessel repair entry was filed on the day of arrival. We are asked to review some of the operations performed in the foreign shipyard for the purpose of determining their dutiability. The operator, in seeking relief from the duty provisions of section 466, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, (19 U.S.C. 1466), filed a one-page cover letter forwarding various invoices and worksheets which reflect proposed dispositions, but no specific plea for relief from duty was filed. Although that letter denominates itself an Application for Relief, it does not rise to that level. Customs requested additional information and drawings from the vessel operator, but still no specific claim for relief was submitted.


Whether sufficient evidence has been submitted which will allow thorough consideration of the dutiability aspects of the subject foreign shipyard operations involved in this matter.


Title 19, United States Code, section 1466(a), 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 be employed in such trade.

The regulations governing the submission of evidence and the determination of dutiability of foreign shipyard operations under section 1466 are found in section 4.14, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 4.14). Subsection (d)(1) of section 4.14 (19 CFR 4.14(d)(1)) provides that while an Application for Relief need not be submitted in any particular format, it is necessary that it:

...allege that an item or a repair expense covered by the entry is not subject to duty under paragraph (a) of this section, or that the articles purchased or the repair expenses are within the provisions of paragraph of this section, or that both conditions are present.

None of these allegations appear in the submitted documentation. The requirements appearing in the regulations carry the force and effect of law, having been promulgated pursuant to the specific authority conferred by statute (19 U.S.C. 1466 and 1498(a)(10)).


Following review of the evidence submitted and an analysis of the applicable law and precedents, we have determined that, as a matter of law, relief cannot be granted for the reasons set forth in the Law and Analysis section of this ruling. This entry should be liquidated and the vessel operator should be informed of the right to file a protest of the liquidation under 19 U.S.C. 1514 and 19 CFR Part 174. We have reached this same conclusion in previous rulings concerning Sea-Land vessel repair entries (Ruling Letters 111714 and 111746, both issued January 22, 1992, and 113521).


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