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HQ 114733

November 17, 1999

BOR-4-07-RR:IT:EC 114733 CC


L.L. Barnhart
Sr. Transportation Specialist
Global Procurement Department
Hercules Incorporated
Hercules Plaza
1313 North Market Street
Wilmington, DE 19894-0001

RE: Instruments of International Traffic; 19 U.S.C. § 1322(a); 19 CFR § 10.41a; Stainless steel tanks

Dear Mr. Barnhart:

This is in response to your letter of June 8, 1999, requesting that we designate certain stainless steel tanks as instruments of international traffic (IIT’s).


You state that the subject “semi-bulk tanks” are constructed of stainless steel. Some of the tanks are constructed wholly of stainless steel, whereas some of the tanks have frames of stainless steel with polypropylene internal tanks inside the cage frame. You state that the “[t]anks are used to transport liquid chemicals for water management/boiler treatment compounds in plants, water treatment facilities.” The tanks have a capacity of either 300 or 400 gallons. The 300-gallon tanks measure 4'6¾” by 4' by 3'6", and the 400-gallon tanks measure 5'6½” by 4' by 3'6". Hercules will use approximately 1000 to 1500 tanks, with the useful life of a tank being between 5 and 10 years.


Whether the subject tanks 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.

If the subject tanks are considered shipping tanks by 19 CFR § 10.41a, they are already of a class of goods designated as IIT’s by that regulation. If not, upon review of the request and accompanying documentation, we are of the opinion that the tanks in question are substantial, suitable for and capable of repeated use, and used in significant numbers in international traffic. Consequently, we find that the subject tanks qualify as IIT’s pursuant to 19 U.S.C. § 1322(a).


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


Jerry Laderberg

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