United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 2003 HQ Rulings > HQ 229963 - HQ 548239 > HQ 230004

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 230004

August 29, 2003

DRA-4-RR:CR:DR 230004 LLB

Category: DRAWBACK

Mr. James H. Abbott
OEC Logistics, Inc.
5777 W. Century Blvd., Suite 265
Los Angeles, California 90045

RE: 19 U.S.C. § 1313(j)(2); shoes

Dear Mr. Abbott:

This is in response to your letter dated May 2, 2003 to the Director, National Commodity Specialist Division in which you request a determination of commercial interchangeability of shoes imported and exported by your client, Glory Chen International. Your request has been forwarded to this office. Our decision follows.


Glory Chen asserts that it returns unsold, imported shoes to its foreign supplier. Glory Chen states that it is unable to identify the import entry under which the shoes it intends to return were imported. The only document presented is a list of the shoes to be returned. The list categorizes the shoes by style name, color, description, number of units received, shipment number, date of receipt and unit price. It is not clear whether the list is merely illustrative or represents actual records. Although the list references shipment number and date of receipt, Glory Chen's broker states that the list does not correspond to specific import entries. The list contains six styles: Agean, Alament, Animal, Asha, Bess and Carasam. However, the list contains only one shipment for style "Carasam". There are 57 shipments for style "Agean", 33 shipments for style "Alament", 36 shipments for style "Animal", 14 shipments for style "Asha" and 12 shipments for style "Bess". With two exceptions, the unit price within a style is the same. All but two of the 55 shipments for style "Agean" list the same unit price. Two shipments have significantly different unit prices. Within style "Alament" there is one unit price that differs from the remaining shipments. Within the styles "Alament" and "Animal", the description differs from denim suede and sport suede. No information was provided as to the parameters of each style. No business records such as purchase orders, invoices, inventory records, shipping records or import entry papers were provided.


Whether the Glory Chen shoes under consideration meet the requisite criteria for commercial interchangeable merchandise for purposes of the unused merchandise drawback provisions set for in 19 U.S.C. § 1313(j)(2).

Law and Analysis

Under 19 U.S.C. § 1313(j)(2), as amended, substitution unused merchandise drawback may be granted if there is, with respect to imported, duty-paid merchandise, any other merchandise that is commercially interchangeable with the imported merchandise provided certain requirements are met.

The factors that are considered in determining whether two articles are commercially interchangeable are set forth in 19 CFR § 191.32(c). A comparison of the import and export articles is made against those factors. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) uses the ruling requester's commercial records in its comparison of the articles to determine whether the articles are described by the same Government or recognized industrial standard, part number and tariff classification. Those records also are used by CBP to compare the relative values of the two articles. Underlying purchase and sales contracts, purchase invoices, purchase orders, and inventory records show whether a claimant has followed a particular recognized industry standard or governmental standard, or any combination of the two, relative values of the imported and exported merchandise, and whether a claimant uses part numbers to buy, sell, and inventory the merchandise in issue. See HQ 227473 (March 3, 1998) (determining whether imported and exported merchandise met government and industry standards and relative values using contracts and purchase orders); HQ 227106 (September 3, 1997) (determining use of part numbers, using purchase orders, sales documents and invoices, and warehouse receipts). See also, 19 C.F.R. § 177.2(b)(4) (“If the question or questions presented in the ruling request directly relate to matters set forth in any invoice, contract, agreement, or other document, a copy of the document must be submitted with the request.”).

Glory Chen has not submitted any documentation, other than an inventory report, to support its ruling request. As such, we will make our determination of commercial interchangeability based on the assertions in the ruling request and the evidence provided.

1. Governmental and Recognized Industry Standards

Glory Chen does not address whether government and/or industry standards apply to the purchase of the imported and exported shoes.

2. Part Numbers

It is clear that within a style, shoes having different colors, different unit prices and possibly different compositions are not differentiated. Since those differences are not explained and no evidence has been presented to show that style alone is the basis for purchase as would be a part number, the evidence is insufficient to show that this criterion is met.

3. Tariff Classification

No evidence was presented as to tariff classification. Consequently, there is no evidence to show that this criterion was met.

4. Relative Value

Within styles “Agean” and “Alament” the unit prices differ from the other shipments and no explanation was provided for those differences. As noted above it is not clear whether the list in only illustrative or represents actual shipments. If the shoes can be shown by satisfactory business records to be the same unused shoes that were imported, this criterion ought to be able to be satisfied. However, the import entry records, purchase orders, sales invoices and shipping records were not provided.


The list along is insufficient to determine whether the shoes within a particular style are commercially interchangeable for purposes of 19 U.S.C. § 1313(j)(2).


Myles Harmon, Director

Previous Ruling Next Ruling