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HQ 115331

June 25, 2001

VES-13-118:RR:IT:EC 115331 LLO


Chief, Liquidation Branch
P.O. Box 2450
San Francisco, California 94126

RE: Vessel Protest No. 2704-01-100559; Vessel Repair, Duty Remission 19 U.S.C. §1466;19 C. F.R. §4.14; PRESIDENT POLK; V-120; C27-0171362-3

Dear Sir:

We received your memorandum dated March 15, 2001 requesting that we review a protest relating to the PRESIDENT POLK V-120, regarding the dutiablity of lashing bridge doors. Our ruling on the matter is set forth below.


The M/V PRESIDNET POLK, operated by American Ship Management, LLC arrived at the Port of Los Angeles, California on March 11, 2000. On March 13, 2000, a vessel repair entry was timely filed.

An application for relief was timely filed on June 7, 2000. The San Francisco office granted in part and denied in part the application for relief.

On July 5, 2000 a petition for review was filed. This office issued a ruling dated October 26, 2000 regarding the items denied in the application for relief.

The operator agents, American Ship Management, LLC, submitted a protest, identifying certain items as non-dutiable. The following item is reviewed in this ruling:

-lashing bridge doors


Whether lashing bridge doors are duty free under title 19 U.S.C. §1466(h)(3) as spare parts or components of an operating entity.


Title 19, United States Code, 1466(a), provides in part for payment of an ad valorem duty of 50 percent of the foreign cost of equipments, or any part thereof, including boats, purchased for, or the repair parts or materials to be used, or the expenses or repairs made in a foreign country 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.

With regard to the dutiability of the lashing bridge doors, the protestant makes several arguments amounting to the assertion that the doors are a part or component of a larger system making them duty free permanent parts of the overall lashing system that was installed on the vessel under 19 U.S.C. §1466(h)(3).

A part under section 1466 is determined to be something which does not lose its essential character or its identity as a distinct entity but which, like materials, is incorporated into a larger whole. It would be possible to disassemble a contraption and still be able to identify a part with relative ease. Examples of parts as defined are seen in such items as piston rings and preformed gaskets, as opposed to gaskets that are cut at the work site from gasket materials.

In this instance, the protest provides various exhibits seeking to evidence the nature of the lashing bridge doors as a part of a larger system, including various lashing platforms. Protestant notes that “in a situation of extended lay-up it is not reasonably comprehensible that permanent portions of the vessel would be removed.”

The protestant goes on to assert that in a prior, related ruling, HQ 110888, that “[c]ustoms departure (not withstanding, or not) of classifying doors as equipment is also completely departed from Customs own rulings on which duty is assessed under 19 U.S.C. 1466.” The item that is the subject of HQ 110888 is panic proof locks. While the locks may be permanently attached to doors, there is no discussion about the doors or their permanency and potential for portability. In this case however, it is noted in diagrams provided, on the entry summary continuation sheet, and admitted by the protestant in the protest submitted, that the lashing bridge doors are attached to the hull of the vessel by way of stainless steel hinges and bolt/nuts, making removal during an extended lay-up possible. Because these doors can be removed during a potential lay up they are potentially portable, and in turn equipment, which is dutiable under 19 U.S.C. §1466.

Additionally, as stated in HQ115117, “[e]quipment may be affixed to a vessel in a non-permanent fashion, such as by means of bolts or other temporary methods, which is a feature distinguishing it from being considered an integrated portion of the hull and superstructure of the vessel.”

The protestant implies that because HQ 115117 characterized the lashing bridge doors as an operating entity unto itself that, “by Customs own acknowledgment the clear lack of such demonstration is prima facie evidence that the item in question (lashing bridge doors), are in fact not equipments of the vessel.” In defining equipment of a vessel, the Attorney General found that items which are not equipment are:

Those appliances which are permanently attached to the vessel, and which would remain on board were the vessel to be laid up For a long period[and] are material[s] used in the construction of the vessel. HQ 110888

In the application for review, no evidence was provided to demonstrate that the lashing bridge doors were components of a larger system, as opposed to individual pieces of equipment that during an extended lay up, could be removed, because of the nature of the attachment of the doors to the superstructure of the vessel, i.e. by way of hinges, nuts and bolts.

The protest, like the application for review, lacks evidence demonstrating that the lashing bridge doors are permanent attachments to the hull or superstructure of the vessel that would prevent removal during an extended lay-up. The manner in which the lashing bridge doors are attached, makes removal of the doors possible, a characteristic indicative of equipment, rather than components of a larger system.


The lashing bridge doors in question constitute equipment and are dutiable under 19 U.S.C. §1466.

Accordingly, the protest is denied in full.


Larry L. Burton
Entry Procedures and Carriers Branch

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