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 > 2000 HQ Rulings > HQ 084357 - HQ 114893 > HQ 114872

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 114872

December 15, 1999

BOR-4-07-RR:IT:EC 114872 CC


Bruce Schiller
VP/General Manager
MSAS Global Logistics Inc.
10205 N.W. 19th Street
Suite 101
Miami, FL 33172

RE: IIT; cardboard boxes; 19 U.S.C. § 1322(a); 19 CFR § 10.41a

Dear Mr. Schiller:

This is in response to your letter of October 29, 1999, on behalf of Tropical Sportswear International, requesting that we designate certain cardboard boxes as instruments of international traffic (IIT’s).


You state that the subject cardboard boxes measure 24" by 15 “ by 10½” and are constructed of “double wall BC Kraft cardboard, 275lb test with glued seams.” The boxes are used to ship finished garments, primarily trousers, from the Dominican Republic to the United States. The boxes are then flattened by removing the tape and returned to the Dominican Republic. You state that Tropical Sportswear International uses over 175,000 of these boxes per year, and each box will be used 3 to 4 times to transport finished apparel.


Whether the subject cardboard boxes 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 instructions 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 although the boxes in question may be used in significant numbers in international traffic, they are not substantial nor suitable for repeated use. In comparison to most containers designated as IIT’s, which are made of a sturdy construction such as metal, plastics or wood, the subject boxes are made of cardboard which is not substantial and can easily be damaged with only one use so that a box cannot be reused. Consequently, we find that the subject cardboard boxes do not qualify as IIT’s pursuant to 19 U.S.C. § 1322(a).


The subject cardboard boxes do not qualify as instruments of international traffic and may not be released pursuant to 19 CFR § 10.41a.


Jerry Laderberg

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: