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HQ W116719

November 30, 2006

BOR-4-07-RR:BSTC:CCI W116719 rb


Charlene E. Krug, LCB
GE Security
1510 Tate Boulevard, SE
Hickory, NC 28903

RE: Instruments of International Traffic; Accessories; CommerceGuard Container Security Device; 19 U.S.C. 1322(a); 19 CFR 10.41a

Dear Ms. Krug:

In your letter dated August 28, 2006, with enclosures, you request a ruling designating GE Security’s Container Security Device (CSD) as an instrument of international traffic (IIT) under 19 CFR 10.41a, on the basis that the CSD is a normal accessory for shipping containers which have themselves been designated as IITs. Our response to your request follows.


GE Security has developed a tamper-proof Container Security Device (CSD), known as “CommerceGuard,” that integrates with a global information network. The device when attached to the door frame of a shipping container would, inter alia, afford secure intrusion protection for the container; it would allow the container to be tracked from the point of stuffing to the point of unloading; and, at installed-reader locations, the system would enable the carrier to update the status of a container’s inventory, and alert the customer of the change in status. Also, external sensors may be connected to the CSD through a data port, in order to detect and electronically transmit alerts to the presence of other conditions in a container (e.g., radioactive materials, explosives, narcotics). The CSD is not permanently installed in any shipping container, so that once a container has been unloaded at destination, the unit can then be removed and redeployed by the user.


Whether the devices described may properly be designated as instruments of international traffic under 19 U.S.C. 1322(a) and 19 CFR 10.41a.


Generally, to qualify as an instrument of international traffic (IIT), an article must be used as a holder or container; in addition, the article must be substantial, suitable for and capable of repeated use, and be used in significant numbers in international traffic (see, e.g., Headquarters ruling (HQ) 116575, dated January 26, 2006).

Under 19 U.S.C. 1322(a), in pertinent part, IITs 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. In this case, the applicable regulation is set forth in 19 CFR 10.41a. Section 10.41a(a)(1) expressly designates lift vans, cargo vans, shipping tanks, skids, pallets, caul boards, and cores for textile fabrics as IITs, and authorizes the designation of other items as IITs. To this latter end, § 10.41a(a)(3) provides that “‘instruments of international traffic’” includes the normal accessories and equipment imported with any such instrument which is a ‘container’ as defined in Article 1 of the Customs Convention on Containers.”

Once designated as IITs, these items may be released without entry or the payment of duty, subject to the provisions of § 10.41a. In this regard, for example, § 10.41a(a)(2) makes it very clear that accessories or equipment that are imported separately and intended for installation in “any container of foreign production which is an instrument of international traffic may be entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption without the deposit of duty if the person making the entry or withdrawal from warehouse files a declaration...that the accessory or equipment is for a container of foreign production which is an instrument of international traffic. The port director must be satisfied that the importer of the...accessory, or equipment had the declared intention at the time of importation.” See also, subheading 9803.00.50, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States.

Following a review of the information submitted in this case, we find that the devices are substantial; that they are suitable for and capable of repeated use with intermodal containers which are IITs; that they will be used in significant numbers in international traffic; and that they will serve as accessories or equipment for such containers.

Therefore, the CommerceGuard CSDs likewise qualify as IITs pursuant to 19 CFR 10.41a(a)(3), and they are so designated (compare, HQ 116684, of August 17, 2006 (Tamper-Resistant Embedded Controllers (TRECs) that collect/analyze/report data as to status, condition, and location of container and its contents from point of origin to destination designated as IITs pursuant to § 10.41a(a)(3)); and HQ 116288, of August 12, 2004 (Containers Security Units (CSUs) intended to detect unauthorized intrusions into cargo containers designated as IITs under § 10.41a(a)(3))).

In those instances where the subject devices are admitted separately as accessories intended for installation in containers (IITs), entry of the devices, together with a declaration of intent to this effect, would be required in accordance with 19 CFR 10.41a(a)(2) (see HQ 116684, supra; and HQ 116575, supra (involving shock/climate measuring devices intended as accessories for intermodal containers)).


The CommerceGuard Container Security Devices (CSDs) are hereby designated as instruments of international traffic within the meaning of 19 U.S.C. 1322(a) and 19 CFR 10.41a. Specifically, this designation includes those devices that have been imported with containers under 19 CFR 10.41a(a)(3); and, subject especially to 19 CFR 10.41a(a)(2), it includes those devices that are imported as separate articles intended for installation in containers (IITs).


/S/ Glen E. Vereb

Glen E. Vereb

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