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HQ 115068

August 31, 2000

COT-2-RR:IT:EC 115068 LLB


Ms. Karen Quintana
New Wave Transport (U.S.A.) Inc.
2417 E. Carson St., Suite 200
Long Beach, California 90810

RE: Container Freight Stations; Permits to Transfer; Containerized Cargo; Multiple Shippers; Multiple Consignees; Multiple Freight Stations; 19 CFR Part 19

Dear Ms. Quintana:

Reference is made to your letter of June 1, 2000, in which you request that this office rule upon the issue of the transfer of a single cargo container of merchandise to separate Container Freight Stations. Our ruling follows.


The issue presented involves the following. Two unrelated foreign freight forwarders each wish to send 500 cartons of merchandise to the United States. The first such forwarder has its 500 cartons loaded into a shipping container. The 500 cartons are covered by a single master bill of lading and are consigned to 5 separate parties. Five separate house bills, each for 100 cartons, are covered by this master bill. A barrier of some sort is placed in the container to segregate this load of 500 cartons.

The second freight forwarder engages in a similar operation. This forwarder also ships 500 cartons under a single master bill of lading. This master bill also includes 5 house bills, each covering 100 cartons, each 100 carton lot destined to a separate consignee. These 500 cartons are loaded into the same container as the first lot of cartons. To summarize, a single ocean shipping container will arrive in the United States with 1,000 cartons of merchandise, physically segregated into two lots of 500 each. The container load is covered by two master bills of lading, totaling 10 house bills with each house bill separately consigned.

When the ocean container arrives in the United States, each 500- carton shipment is assigned to a different agent, and each of the two agents utilizes a different Container Freight Station (CFS). When the time comes to move the container from the container yard under Permit to Transfer procedures, the issue arises as to whether such a permit may be used to move the single container to two separate CFS facilities.


Whether a container, the contents of which is covered by two master bills of lading, may be moved from a container yard to successive Container Freight Station facilities under Permit to Transfer procedures.


Sections 19.40 through 19.49 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 19.40 through 19.49) set forth the requirements and procedures relating to all aspects of Container Freight Station operations. Section 19.41 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 19.41), provides that:

Containerized cargo may be moved from the place of unlading to a designated container station, or may be received directly at the container station from a bonded carrier after transportation in-bond, before the filing of an entry of merchandise therefor or the permitting thereof for the purpose of breaking bulk and redelivery of the cargo

In the context of such movements, the place of unlading referred to under the regulation is the container yard. We interpret the regulation to provide that the container of merchandise may be transported from that location to a designated container station pursuant to the Permit to Transfer procedures provided in sections 19.42, 19,43, and 19.45 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 19.42, 19.43, and 19.45).

Once transferred to the designated CFS, subsequent movement may not be accomplished under the original Permit to Transfer. The means by which movement of the container to a second CFS may occur depends upon whether the two stations are located within the limits of the same Customs port. If located in the same port, transportation may be provided by a licensed cartman. Normal procedures for the provision of transportation services by such entities would govern. If the two facilities are not located within the same port limits, movement would be accomplished by the procedures governing the transportation of merchandise under an immediate transportation bond.


Permits to Transfer merchandise to a Container Freight Station (CFS) are issued to accommodate the transportation of merchandise from the place of unlading to a single CFS. Further transportation of the merchandise to a second CFS must be accomplished either by a licensed cartman or under the terms of an immediate transportation bond, depending upon whether both facilities are located in the same Customs port.


Larry L. Burton

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