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HQ 115596

March 6, 2002

BOR-4-04-RR:IT:EC 115596 GEV


Gary L. Stanley, Esq.
1850 M Street, N.W.
Suite 2000
Washington, D.C. 20036-5804

RE: Instruments of International Traffic; Canadian-based Truck; 19 U.S.C. § 1322

Dear Mr. Stanley:

This is in response to your letter dated January 17, 2002, requesting a ruling on behalf of your client, Skelton Truck Lines Ltd. (“Skelton”) of Sharon, Ontario, Canada, regarding the proposed transportation of merchandise in the United States by a Canadian-based truck. Our ruling on this matter is set forth below.


A Canadian-based truck would depart Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with or without a load, destined to either Berkley or Van Nuys, California. If this truck travels with a load from Vancouver, it would make one or more deliveries in the United States en route to Berkeley or Van Nuys.

In Berkeley or Van Nuys, the Canadian-based truck would pick up a load of goods for delivery to Clayton, North Carolina. Upon delivery of that load, it would pick up other goods from the same consignee for delivery to the Toronto, Canada, area.


Whether the use of a Canadian-based truck as described above is violative of 19 CFR § 123.14(c)(1).


Section 141.4, Customs Regulations (19 CFR § 141.4), provides that entry as required by title 19, United States Code, § 1484(a) (19 U.S.C. § 1484(a)), shall be made of every importation whether free or dutiable and regardless of value, except for intangibles and articles specifically exempted by law or regulations from the requirements for entry. Since the foreign-based truck in question is not within the definition of intangibles as shown in General Note 4, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS; 19 U.S.C. § 1202, as amended), it is subject to entry and payment of any applicable duty if not specifically exempted by law and regulations.

Instruments of international traffic may be entered without entry and payment of duty under the provisions of 19 U.S.C. § 1322. To qualify as instruments of international traffic, trucks having their principal base of operations in a foreign country must be arriving in the United States with merchandise destined for points in the United States, or arriving empty or loaded for the purpose of taking merchandise out of the United States (see 19 CFR § 123.14(a)). Furthermore, certain foreign-based vehicles engaged, in whole or in part, in the domestic carriage of merchandise that either originates from a location outside the United States or will be subsequently moved to a destination outside the United States, or such vehicles moving without a payload between two points in the same country, shall be considered as engaged in international traffic. (See Customs Bulletin of October 1, 1997, Vol. 31, No. 40, at pp. 7-13.)

Section 123.14(c), Customs Regulations, states that with one exception, a foreign-based truck, admitted as an instrument of international traffic under § 123.14, shall not engage in local traffic in the United States. The exception, set out in § 123.14(c)(1), states that such a vehicle “may carry merchandisebetween points in the United States if such carriage is incidental to the immediately prior or subsequent engagement of that vehicle in international traffic.” This regulatory provision further provides that, “[a]ny such carriage by the vehicle in the general direction of an export move or as part of the return of the vehicle to its base country shall be considered incidental to its engagement in international traffic.”

Section 10.41(d), Customs Regulations provides, in part, that any foreign-owned vehicle brought into the United States for the purpose of carrying merchandise between points in the United States for hire
or as an element of a commercial transaction, except as provided for in § 123.14(c), is subject to treatment as an importation of merchandise from a foreign country and a regular Customs entry therefore shall be made. Section 123.14(d), Customs Regulations provides that any vehicle used in violation of § 123.14, is subject to forfeiture under § 592, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C.

With respect to the proposed transportation under consideration, the Canadian-based truck would be either arriving in the United States from Canada with merchandise destined to either Berkeley or Van Nuys, California, or arriving empty from Canada for the purpose of taking merchandise out of the United States (i.e., picking up in Clayton, North Carolina, for delivery Canada). Under either scenario, the truck would qualify as an instrument of international traffic pursuant to 19 CFR §123.14(a). The use of the truck to carry a load of freight from either Berkeley or Van Nuys to Clayton would be local traffic in accordance with 19 CFR § 123.14(c)(1) in that such local traffic would be immediately prior or subsequent to the engagement of the vehicle in international traffic and would be incidental to the international traffic since it would be in the general direction of an export move.

Accordingly, the use of Skelton’s truck as proposed would not be prohibited by Customs administration of 19 CFR § 123.14(c)(1).


The use of a Canadian-based truck as described in the above scenario is not violative of 19 CFR § 123.14(c)(1).


Larry L. Burton

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