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CBP Identifies Country of Origin for Intermodal Containers

Thursday, January 07, 2016
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued a final determination concerning the country of origin of certain intermodal shipping containers that may be offered to the U.S. government under an undesignated government procurement contract. Any party-at-interest may seek judicial review of this determination by Feb. 8. CBP issues country of origin advisory rulings and final determinations as to whether an article is or would be a product of a designated country or instrumentality for the purposes of granting waivers of certain “Buy American” restrictions in U.S. law or practice for products offered for sale to the U.S. government.

The intermodal containers are capable of transport by rail, truck and ship with uniform fitting on preexisting truck and rail support structures. Large front, rear, side, roof and floor panels and some other components are imported from abroad while other components are domestically sourced. Various processes are performed in the U.S. to assemble the final products.

CBP holds in ruling HQ H267876 that the country of origin for purposes of U.S. government procurement is not the U.S. but is imparted by the side, roof and floor panels, which are already formed in the final shape prior to importation. CBP explains that there is no substantial transformation of the panels because the grinding, welding and assembly processes essentially do not change the predetermined use of the panels and the panels are not subsumed into a complex device.

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