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HQ 116047

December 1, 2003

BOR-4-07:RR:IT:EC 116047 TLS


Mr. Robert Glover
Vice President-Import
L.E. Coppersmith, Inc.
2041 Rosecrans Avenue, Third Floor
El Segundo, California 90245

RE: Instruments of International Traffic; 19 U.S.C. §1322(a); 19 CFR 10.41a(a)(1); Collapsible Steel Racks; Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) heading 9803.00.50.

Dear Mr. Glover:

This is in response to your letter to the Director, National Commodity Specialist Division, on behalf of Aisin Holdings of America, Inc., dated August 19, 2003, requesting a ruling concerning whether collapsible steel racks as you describe them qualify as instruments of international traffic (IIT) under 19 U.S.C. §1322(a) and 19 CFR 10.41a(a)(1) and therefore qualify for duty-free treatment under subheading 9803.00.50, HTSUSA. Your letter was forwarded to this office for direct reply.


As you state, steel racks will be used to hold automobile transmissions in ocean containers during transport from Japan to the United States. The racks will be made of either carbon steel square pipe or rolled steel. The racks will be shipped empty back to Japan after they are unloaded in the U.S. The anticipated life cycle of the racks is five years. You state that each rack will be identified with an individual serial number and that approximately 3,142 racks will be used each year.


Whether the steel racks may be designated as instruments of international traffic under 19 U.S.C. §1322(a) and 19 CFR 10.41a(a)(1).


Pursuant to 19 U.S.C. §1322(a), instruments of international traffic shall be excepted from the application of the Customs laws to the extent that such terms and conditions are prescribed in regulations or instructions. Pursuant to 19 CFR 10.41a(a)(1), the Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is authorized to designate as instruments of international traffic such additional articles not specifically noted in that section. Such instruments may be released without entry or payment of duty.

To qualify as an instrument of international traffic within the meaning of 19 U.S.C. §1322(a) and 19 CFR 10.41a(a)(1), an article must be used as a container or holder. The article also must be substantial, suitable for and capable of repeated use, and used in significant numbers in international traffic. See HTSUSA subheading 9803.00.50 and HQ 112303 (August 14, 1992).

We have consistently ruled that collapsible steel containers, whether racks or crates, that are used to import automobile parts qualify as IITs. See, e.g., Customs ruling HQ 113687 (February 27, 1997) and Customs ruling HQ 112303 (August 14, 1992). Thus, upon reviewing your request and supporting documentation, we find that the steel racks as described above meet the requirements of an instrument of international traffic in that they are significantly similar to the steel containers found to be IITs in previous rulings.


The steel racks, as described above, are hereby designated as instruments of international traffic within the meaning of 19 U.S.C. §1322(a) and pursuant to 19 CFR 10.41a(a)(1).


Glen E. Vereb

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