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HQ 116663

August 9, 2006

BOR-4-07-RR-BSTC:CCI 116663 GOB


Norman Lubeck, Esq.
Manager, Global Customs Compliance
The Gillette Company
Prudential Tower Building
Boston, MA 02199-8004

RE: Instruments of international traffic; 19 U.S.C. 1322; 19 CFR 10.41a Dear Mr. Lubeck:

This is in response to your ruling request of May 22, 2006 on behalf of The Gillette Company. Our ruling follows.


You request that certain articles described below be designated as instruments of international traffic within the meaning of section 10.41a(a)(1), Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) Regulations (19 CFR 10.41a(a)(1)).

You state in pertinent part that:

This case involves the classification of empty plastic trays, totes, and magazines that are used by the Gillette Company to ship razors, parts of razors, and manual toothbrushes to Gillette facilities around the world. After the product in the trays is consumed abroad, the empty containers are returned to the US, filled with various kinds of products, and exported again.

The containers are typically made of heavy-grade plastic, suitable for many years of repeated use, and are designed to carry particular components.

The items at issue are as follows: black covers, #13290, qty 573, 20”x24”x2.5”, acrylic butadene styrene (ABS) magazine, #34590, quantity of 1,002, 15.5”x23.5”x24”, polypropylene magazine, #34591, quantity of 1,150, 15.5”x23.5”x24”, polypropylene gray hood trays, #37181, quantity of 8,584, 20”x24”x3.5”, ABS gray tote with liner, #34860, quantity of 16,011, 19.5”x23.5”x8”, polypropylene black clip trays, #37179A, quantity of 22,656, 20”x24”x2.5”, ABS blue housing trays, #37180A, quantity of 25,298, 20”x24”x2.5”, ABS gray tisma tray, #34862, quantity of 95,000, 15.5”x23.5”x2.5”, polypropylene tan handle trays, #37182A, quantity of 97,331, 20”x24”x5”, ABS blue tisma tray, #34597, quantity of 190,812, 15.5”x23.5”x2.5”, polypropylene purple dispenser tray, #37183A, quantity of 245,000, 15.5”x23.5”x1.25”, polypropylene female 12-up tray, #399361, quantity of 314,000, 26”x10”x2.5”, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) male 12-up tray, #399277, quantity of 510,000, 26”x10”x2.5”, PVC 16-up trays, #34446, quantity of 598,394, 20”x14”x2.5”, modrex polystyrene green tisma tray, #36174G, qty of 210,000, 15.5”x23.5”x2.5”, polypropylene

You state that the 16-up trays, the male 12-up trays, and the female 12-up trays will be used at least 35 times. You further state that all other items have a useful life exceeding ten years.


Whether the subject items may be designated as instruments of international traffic within the meaning of 19 U.S.C. 1322(a) and 19 CFR 10.41a.


Title 19, United States Code, section 1322(a) (19 U.S.C. 1322(a)) provides in pertinent part, that “[v]ehicles and other instruments of international traffic shall be excepted from the application of the customs laws to such extent and subject to such terms and conditions as may be prescribed in regulations or instructions ”

The CBP Regulations issued under the authority of 19 U.S.C. 1322(a) are contained in 19 CFR 10.41 et seq. Section 10.41a(a)(1), CBP Regulations (19 CFR 10.41a(a)(1)) designates lift vans, cargo vans, shipping tanks, skids, pallets, caul boards, and cores for textile fabrics as instruments for international traffic.

Section 10.41a(a)(1), CBP Regulations (19 CFR 10.41a(a)(1)) also authorizes the Commissioner of CBP to designate as instruments of international traffic such additional articles or classes of articles as he shall find should be so designated. Instruments so designated may be released without entry or the payment of duty, subject to the provisions of 19 CFR 10.41a.

Section 10.41a(a)(3), CBP Regulations (19 CFR 10.41a(a)(3)) provides that “instruments of international traffic” includes the normal accessories and equipment imported with any such instrument.

To qualify as an instrument of international traffic within the meaning of 19 U.S.C. 1322(a) and 19 CFR 10.41a, an article must be used as a container or holder. Further, the article must be substantial, suitable for and capable of repeated use, and used in significant numbers in international traffic. See e.g. Headquarters decisions (“HQ”) 108658, 109665, and 109702.

With respect to the applicability of the above-referenced criteria to items of a similar nature, construction and use, we note the following. In HQ 116526, dated August 29, 2005, we designated certain plastic circuit trays as instruments of international traffic. In HQ 115108, dated August 24, 2000, we designated certain pallets and tops, plastic outer rings, plastic and cardboard pads, and form trays as instruments of international traffic. In HQ 114506, dated October 29, 1998, we designated certain totes which consisted of a series of plastic trays as instruments of international traffic. In Treasury Decision 68-56, we designated certain plastic trays with dimensions of 23” by 14” by 1.75” as instruments of international traffic.

After a review of the information submitted, we determine that the subject items meet the criteria for designation as instruments of international traffic within the meaning of 19 U.S.C. 1322(a) and 19 CFR 10.41a(a)(1). Accordingly, they are so designated.


The subject items are hereby designated as instruments of international traffic within the meaning of 19 U.S.C. 1322(a) and 19 CFR 10.41a(a)(1).


Glen E. Vereb
Cargo Security, Carriers and Immigration Branch

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