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HQ 115161

November 2, 2000

BOR-4-07:RR:IT:EC 115161 LLO


Ms. Tiffany Murphy
444 Talleyrand Avenue, Suite B
Jacksonville, Florida 32202

RE: Instruments of International Traffic; Accessories; 19 C.F.R. §10.41a;T.D. 82-147; 19 U.S.C. §1322a; 19 U.S.C. §1466

Dear Ms. Murphy:

We received your letter on behalf of your client, Buffers USA, regarding “Lashing Gear,” requesting a ruling decision on whether this item qualifies as an instrument of international traffic. Our ruling follows.


“Lashing Gear” is a group description of all loose and fixed hardware used onboard a container to tie down the freight containers carried by ship. Buffers USA is the importer of record. Formosa Forges Corp. and Yantai Auto Parts Company are the two different manufacturers of the product. “Lashing Gear” has been classified under several Harmonized Tariff Schedule categories by an Import Specialist in Jacksonville, Florida. The categories given were twistlocks, liftlocks, midlocks; storage bins; and all other “Lashing Gear.” The importer is a distributor and buys the product for resale.


Whether “Lashing Gear,” a product used to tie down freight containers imported onboard container ships, is a normal accessory to “containers” as defined in Article 1 of the Convention on Containers under 19 C.F.R. §10.41a(a) 3.


To qualify as an instrument of international traffic within the meaning of 19 U.S.C. §1322(a) and 19 C.F.R. §10.41a, 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. (HQ112948)

T.D. 82-147 held twist-lock stackers used by steamship operators to secure containers to the deck of a vessel and to other stacked containers, to be instruments of international traffic.

The underlying rationale for this decision was that the twist-lock stackers are similar to other articles deemed instruments of international traffic. Examples include container adapters [T.D. 68-296], inflatable dunnage units [C.I.E. 525/63], and automotive frame spacers [T.D. 69-220] which in their function and otherwise meet the requirements of an instrument of international traffic because they are substantial, suitable for and capable of repeated use and used in significant numbers.

Since container lashing gear, like twist-lock stackers, are components of a container lashing system and possess the same characteristics required of an instrument of international traffic, they are so designated, rather than as vessel equipment, and are not subject to entry or payment of duty.


The Buffers USA, Yantai Auto Parts Co. and Formosa Forges Corp. products characterized as “Lashing Gear” which are used as components of a securing system for the transportation of containers aboard vessels, are instruments of international traffic within the meaning of 19 U.S.C. §1322(a) and 19 C.F.R. §10.41a so as to be exempt from entry and duty pursuant to 19 U.S.C. §1466.


Larry L. Burton

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