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HQ 114124

January 30, 1998

BOR-4-07-RR:IT:EC 114124 CC


Bruce N. Shulman, Esq.
Stein, Shostak, Shostak & O'Hara
Suite 807
1620 L Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036-5605

RE: Instruments of International Traffic; 19 U.S.C. ? 1322(a); 19 CFR ? 10.41a;
Concentrate Bins

Dear Mr. Shulman:

This is in response to a letter of September 25, 1997, with your letter and additional information of October 1, 1997, on behalf of Dole Packaged Foods Company (Dole), requesting that we designate certain "concentrate bins" as instruments of international traffic (IIT's).


You state that the subject reusable concentrate bins consist of -inch plywood sides, and top and pallet bases, which are fabricated to fit together and are reinforced with steel supports. Each bin is design to hold a bag, which, when filled, can hold up to 345 gallons of juice concentrate. A specification sheet shows that the subject bins have a length of 41« inches, a width of 40 inches, and a height of 60« inches. The bins are valued at approximately $173 each and are being imported into the U.S. containing pineapple juice concentrate.

When the bins are emptied, they are disassembled by Dole's customers, are collected by Dole, and are returned to the canning facilities in the Philippines and Thailand, to be refilled with juice concentrate to be exported to the United States. Dole has approximately 9,000 of these reusable bins currently circulating in international traffic. The bins, when kept in repair, are used for four to six years.


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


Section 322(a), Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. ? 1322(a)) provides that "[v]ehicles 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 instruction of the Secretary of the Treasury."

The Customs Regulations issued under the authority of section 322(a) are contained in section 10.41a (19 CFR ? 10.41a). Paragraph (a)(1) of section 10.41a designates lift vans, cargo vans, shipping tanks and certain other named articles as IIT's and states that other articles may be designated as IIT's by the Commissioner of Customs in a decision to be published in the weekly Customs Bulletin. Once designated as IIT's, these items may be released without entry or the payment of duty, subject to the provisions of section 10.41a.

To qualify as an instrument of international traffic within the meaning of 19 U.S.C. ? 1322(a) and the regulation promulgated pursuant thereto (19 CFR ? 10.41a et. seq.), 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, subheading 9803.00.50, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), and former Headnote 6(b)(ii), Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS), as well as Headquarters Ruling Letters (HQs) 104766, dated August 22, 1988; 109665, dated September 12, 1988; and 109702, dated September 30, 1988.

Upon review of the request and accompanying documentation, we are of the opinion that the containers in question are substantial, suitable for and capable of repeated use, and used in significant numbers in international traffic. In addition, we have ruled that similar containers qualify as IIT's. In HQ 113790, dated February 21, 1997, we found that collapsible plywood containers with steel supports qualify as instruments of international traffic. Consequently, we find that the subject bins qualify as IIT's pursuant to 19 U.S.C. ? 1322(a).


The subject bins qualify as instruments of international traffic and may be released pursuant to 19 CFR ? 10.41a.


Jerry Laderberg

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