On June 15, 2010, the CIT issued its decision in Pacific Northwest Equipment Inc. v. United States. At issue was whether Pacific Northwest Equipment Inc.’s (PNW) sideless platform containers were properly classified as containers within HTSUS heading 8609, as PNW claimed, or simply as platforms within HTSUS heading 7326, as CBP argued.
The CIT granted PNW’s motion for summary judgment, finding that the platform containers were containers because they were used to keep objects within limits by holding them down during transportation. The CIT rejected CBP’s arguments that the subject merchandise should be classified as articles of iron because they did not have sides, noting that “the dictionary definition of container does not require that it have sides, walls or doors...” The CIT also rejected CBP’s argument that the sideless containers, by virtue of the fact that they lack sides, do not have a measurable capacity as required by EN 86.09. The CIT found that the platform containers in question were used for the transportation of three-dimensional objects and, as such, they “necessarily have a measurable capacity, which could be stated in cubic meters, cubic inches or any other form of cubic measurement.”