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Duty-Free Treatment of Articles Imported in Connection with the Volvo Ocean Race

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Customs Service, Department of the Treasury.


Notice of designation of international athletic event for purposes of preferential tariff provision.


This notice advises the public of the designation of the Volvo Ocean Race, a round-the-world international sailing competition, as a qualifying international athletic event under subheading 9817.60.00, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).


Effective for merchandise entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption on or after March 1, 2002.

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Craig A. Walker, Office of Regulations & Rulings (202-927-1116).

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Section 1456 of the Tariff Suspension and Trade Act of 2000 (the “Act”) (Public Law 106-476, 114 Stat. 2101) promulgated the duty-free treatment provided under subheading 9817.60.00, HTSUS, for certain articles brought into the U.S. for certain international athletic events. Subheading 9817.60.00, HTSUS, which implements section 1456(a) of the Act, states:

Any of the following articles not intended for sale or distribution to the public: personal effects of aliens who are participants in, officials of, or accredited members of delegations to, an international athletic event held in the United States, such as the Olympics and Paralympics, the Goodwill Games, the Special Olympics World Games, the World Cup Soccer Games, or any similar international athletic event as the Secretary of the Treasury may determine, and of persons who are immediate family members of or servants to any of the foregoing persons; equipment and materials imported in connection with any such foregoing event by or on behalf of the foregoing persons or the organizing committee of such an event, articles to be used in exhibitions depicting the culture of a country participating in such an event; and, if consistent with the foregoing, such other articles as the Secretary of the Treasury may allow.

Section 1456(b) of the Act, as implemented in Note 6 of Subchapter XII, HTSUS, provides that “[a]ny article exempt from duty under heading 9817.60.00 shall be free of taxes and fees that may otherwise be applicable, but shall not be free or otherwise exempt or excluded from routine or other inspections as may be required by the Customs Service.”

The Volvo Ocean Race (formerly known as the Whitbread Round the World Race) is a premier international sailing competition that takes place every four years and touches five continents and nine countries around the world. The current race, with seven teams participating, began in Southampton England on September 23, 2001, and is expected to take approximately nine months from start to finish. The fifth and sixth stopovers during the race are Miami, Florida, and Baltimore/Annapolis, Maryland.

Counsel for the Volvo Ocean Race has requested that the event be designated as a qualifying international athletic event for purposes of subheading 9817.60.00, HTSUS.


Section 1456 of the Tariff Suspension and Trade Act of 2000 provides that the Secretary of Treasury may determine that international athletic events not explicitly mentioned in the statute qualify as similar to those mentioned for purposes of the duty-free treatment provided for in subheading 9817.60.00, HTSUS.

It is determined that the Volvo Ocean Race qualifies as a similar international athletic event in accordance with section 1456 of the Tariff Suspension and Trade Act of 2000. Therefore, articles meeting the conditions and requirements set forth in subheading 9817.60.00, HTSUS, imported in connection with the Volvo Ocean Race, will be entitled to duty-free treatment.

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Robert C. Bonner,

Commissioner of Customs.

Approved: May 8, 2002.

Gordana Earp,

Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury.

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[FR Doc. 02-11945 Filed 5-13-02; 8:45 am]