United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1998 HQ Rulings > HQ 114538 - HQ 227385 > HQ 226499

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 226499

November 20, 1997

VES-13-18-RR:IT:EC 226499 CC


Chief, Residual Liquidation and Protest Branch U.S. Customs Service
6 World Trade Center
New York, NY 10048-0945

RE: Vessel Repair Entry No. C13-0026244-6; M/V GREEN BAY; V-47/49; Casualty; U.S. Parts 19 U.S.C. ? 1466; Petition for review; HQ 113480

Dear Sir:

This is in response to your memorandum of October 20, 1995, which forwards for our review the petition for review filed in conjunction with the above-referenced vessel repair entry.


The M/V GREEN BAY is a U.S.-flag vessel owned and operated by Central Gulf Lines, Inc. On July 12, 1993, the vessel was involved in a collision with the foreign-flag vessel LIAN HU SHUAN in Nagoya, Japan, which resulted in damage to the subject vessel's bulbous bow, forecastle deck plate, bulwark and various forward frames. Subsequent to an underwater inspection at Nagoya, the vessel proceeded to Yokohama, Japan, for repairs which took place during the period of July 13-19, 1993. The vessel arrived in the United States at Baltimore, Maryland, from Bremerhaven, Germany, on December 12, 1993. A vessel repair entry was timely filed.

By application dated February 10, 1994, remission pursuant to 19 U.S.C. ? 1466(d)(1) was requested for the cost of repairs due to the aforementioned collision. In addition, the applicant requested relief for the cost of U.S.-manufactured parts sold by U.S. vendors. In support of its claims, the applicant submitted the following documentation: invoices; the vessel's schedule; excerpts from the vessel's deck log; the vessel's telex message documenting the collision; pictures of the damage sustained; a statement from the attending agent; ABS survey reports; and a U.S. Coast Guard Form 2692.

In Headquarters Ruling (HQ) 113480, dated July 14, 1995, the application for relief was denied for the casualty claim because there was insufficient evidence presented to support the claim. In addition, we found insufficient evidence to support the claim that certain parts were made and purchased in the U.S. and were therefore non-dutiable under 19 U.S.C. ? 1466 for most of the items; for some items we found that the parts were U.S. parts and were not dutiable.

The applicant timely filed a petition for review, reiterating its claims made in the application and providing additional information in support of its claims.


1. Whether evidence is presented sufficient to prove that certain foreign repairs performed on the vessel for which relief is sought were necessary for its safety and seaworthiness thus warranting remission pursuant to 19 U.S.C. ? 1466(d)(1).

2. Whether evidence is presented sufficient to prove that various vessel parts for which the applicant seeks relief are not subject to duty under 19 U.S.C. ? 1466.


19 U.S.C. ? 1466 provides, in part, for payment of an ad valorem duty of 50 percent of 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 engage in such trade. 19 U.S.C. ? 1466(d)(1) provides that the Secretary of the Treasury is authorized to remit or refund such duties if the owner or master or the vessel was compelled by stress of weather or other casualty to put into such foreign port to make repairs to secure the safety and seaworthiness of the vessel to enable her to reach her port of destination. The term casualty, as it is used in the statute, has been interpreted as something that, like stress of weather, comes with unexpected force or violence, such as fire, explosion, or collision. Dollar Steamship Lines, Inc. v. United States, 5 Cust. Ct. 23, 28-29, C.D. 362 (1940). In the absence of evidence of such a casualty causing event, we must consider the repair to have been necessitated by normal wear and tear. C.S.D. 89-95, 23 Cust. B. & Dec., No. 43, 4, 5 (1989).

Concerning the issue of what constitutes sufficient evidence to support a casualty claim, we stated the following in HQ 113480:

Customs has previously addressed the sufficiency of evidence in casualty claims such as this where a vessel that has been damaged foreign proceeds in a state of disrepair between two foreign locations prior to its being repaired in a foreign port, and subsequently sails to its U.S. port of destination. (See Customs Rulings 112060, dated May 21, 1992; 112061, dated June 10, 1992; 112063, dated June 8, 1992; and 112229, dated June 11, 1992)). It is Customs position as stated in the aforementioned rulings that notwithstanding any practice of verbally reporting foreign casualties to the USCG and that agency's subsequent verbal instructions, remission pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1466(d)(1) will not be granted in the absence of documentary evidence that the casualty occurrence was timely reported to the USCG and that agency, directly or through the medium of a marine surveyor, permitted the vessel to proceed between two foreign locations in a damaged condition. The mere submission of a USCG Report of Marine Accident, Injury or Death (CG-2692), without accompanying documentation from the appropriate USCG OCMI (New York or Honolulu) authorizing the vessel to proceed in a damaged condition, will not suffice for granting remission pursuant to 19 U.S.C. ? 1466(d)(1).

In addition to the evidence presented in the application, the petitioner has presented a letter from Captain Steven E. Werse, M/V GREEN BAY, who states that the subject vessel was involved in a collision on July 12, 1993, temporary repairs were made to the satisfaction of the ABS surveyor and the Japanese Maritime Safety Agency, and the subject vessel was given approval by ABS to proceed to Yokohama for permanent repairs. The Captain's letter does not constitute documentary evidence showing that the casualty was timely reported to the USCG. There has still been no documentary evidence presented showing that the USCG authorized the vessel to proceed in a damaged condition. Absent such evidence, the petitioner's casualty claim for remission of duties pursuant to 19 U.S.C. ? 1466(d)(1) must be denied.

In addition to the casualty claim discussed above, we are asked to review the petitioner's claim for relief regarding vessel parts that was not approved in the application for relief. It is Customs position that vessel parts and materials which are of U.S. manufacture and purchased by the vessel owner in the United States are not subject to duty under 19 U.S.C. ? 1466, when installed on the vessel in a foreign country (see Treasury Decision (T.D.) 75-257). We have reviewed the documentation submitted and find that the following items are dutiable because no documentation was submitted in support of the petitioner's claim:

Item No. Vendor

11 McCurnin Nautical Charts
16 International Paint
17 Dameron-Pierson
17 Long Electrical Supply Co.
17 Schat Watercraft, Inc.
20 Kelly & Abide
20 Unitor Ship Service

The following items are dutiable because the documentation submitted does not show that the parts qualify as U.S. parts under 19 U.S.C. ? 1466:

Item No. Vendor

12 Metric & Multistandard
14 Mackay Communications
17 Bearing Service & Supply
17 Dusset Interior Designs Inc.
17 Roland Marine Inc.
20 World Wide Metric
23 ABB Turbocharger Co. (amounts for 1,475.00 and
23 Mackay Communications

For the remainder of the items, there has been sufficient documentation presented to show that they are U.S. parts under 19 U.S.C. ? 1466, and, therefore, they are not dutiable.


1. Evidence is presented insufficient to prove that certain foreign repairs performed on the subject vessel for which relief is sought were necessary for its safety and seaworthiness; therefore, remission pursuant to 19 U.S.C. ? 1466(d)(1) is denied.

2. The parts, as listed as the item numbers in the Law and Analysis portion of this ruling, are dutiable. Evidence is presented sufficient to prove that the remaining parts claimed to be U.S. parts are not subject to duty under 19 U.S.C. ? 1466.


Jerry Laderberg
Entry Procedures and Carriers

Previous Ruling Next Ruling