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  • Customs Attorney: New Rule and Duty Rate Governing Textile-Bottomed Footwear! DECEMBER 3, 2011

    THE FOLLOWING WILL BE IN EFFECT DECEMBER 3, 2011.Ever since an intelligent business man designed footwear with a textile outer sole (i.e. textile bottom) that footwear was subject to duty rates approximately 25% - 35% lower than equivalent footwear with a rubber or plastic outer sole - what a way to utilize Tariff Engineering! President Obama signed Presidential Proclamation 8742 that was published in the Federal Register on November 3, 2011. What the Proclamation did was add a U.S. Note 5 to the footwear Chapter in the tariff schedule ("Chapter[...]

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  • Import Export Attorney: The Foreign Trade Zone

    What is a Foreign Trade Zone?A United States Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) is a geographic location within the United States but is considered to be outside of Customs territory. Similar to a Bonded Warehouse, (inside Customs territory) many prerequisites for entry such as quotas are not to be adhered to. Additionally, goods may be transferred to a foreign trade zone with less formality than the bonded warehouse.What are its advantages?1. Both Domestic as well as foreign goods may be stored in a foreign trade zone for an UNLIMITED amount of[...]

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  • Customs Attorney: The Bonded Warehouse

    What is a bonded warehouse?Customs bonded warehouses are licensed warehouses that satisfy strict security regulations. It is within bonded warehouses that goods may enter the United States but are not considered "cleared" through customs. Merchandise in a bonded warehouse is considered still to be in Customs custody and duties do not have to be paid. What are its advantages? 1. Customs duties do not have to be withdrawn until goods are released from the warehouse.2. Duty rates that are applied are based on the time the goods are released not[...]

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  • Customs Attorney: My Goods Can Be Described In So Many Ways!

    For Tariff Classification purposes, there are circumstances in which more than one word can describe an item. What do you do?! Well the law provides under the "General Rules of Interpretation" 2(b) that consideration is to be given to every heading that identifies an item by name, language or description. Okay, that is great but my goods can be described in more than one way.General Rules of Interpretation 3 comes along and simplifies the identification of the goods.Relative Specificity More SPECIFIC language is preferred over general language, thus the heading[...]

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  • Customs Attorney: How Many Pieces Make a Whole?

    Many goods are unassembled or incomplete when they arrive at the port. The U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedule for classification predominantly addresses complete and assembled products. However, the law provides via the "General Rules of Interpretation" for unassembled or incomplete goods by allowing certain goods to be classified as though they are complete and assembled. The rule qualifies these goods by its ESSENTIAL CHARACTER. Essential character is not defined in the law but all depends on the specifications of the product. Can a person objectively recognize the product for what it[...]

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  • Customs Attorney: How Much Duty Do I Have To Pay? – Customs Classification

    CLASSIFICATION is the process by which goods are categorized for determining payment of duty as well as for statistical purposes. The United States is apart of the Harmonized System of Classification which functions under an International and a Domestic (Country Specific) level. On the international level all those who are parties to the Harmonized system will classify the product the same. However, at the domestic level each country has its own detailed descriptions and rates of duty one has to pay. There are many laws and rules regarding interpreting the[...]

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  • Customs Attorney: What is the "Value" of my goods? – Customs Valuation

    The duty, taxes, and Customs' fees due on an imported article are its percentage of its DUTIABLE VALUE. The dutiable value is determined by the process of appraisement. Generally, appraisement is calculated by determining the transaction value of the goods, i.e. the price actually paid or payable for the goods when sold for export into the United States. Usually, the the price paid or payable is based on the F.O.B price at the port of export and shipping it onto the carrier. Improper valuation of goods affects the duty liability.[...]

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  • Customs Attorney: Documents you should know!

    Providing documentation to U.S. Customs and Border Protection ("CBP") dictates the basis for all CBP decisions. Without complete and accurate information results in delay and added expenses. What are the documents usually involved in international trade?The Invoice: 1. Provides the documents evidencing the commercial transaction. 2. Government agencies such as CBP, Food and Drug Administration, Consumer Product Safety Commission use the invoice to determine importing compliance. 3. Special information may be required accompanying the invoice. For example, Footwear requires the following:Footwear, classifiable in headings 6401 through 6405 of the HTSUS-(1)[...]

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  • Import Export Attorney: Modes of Transportation

    Air, Sea, Truck, and Rail are the four modes of transporting your merchandise from location to location. These transportation services are either provided directly by the carrier (e.g. the shipping line) or by what is known as a non-carrier operating third party. A non-carrier generally contracts space on the ship, plane, etc and then resells the space with other services. For air shipments these entities are called CONSOLIDATORS and for Ships they are called NON-VESSEL OPERATING COMMON CARRIERS (NVOCC). When should an importer use a Consolidator or an NVOCC?These services[...]

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  • Customs Attorney: Tariff Engineering

    There are those importers who find themselves under the belief that duty rates are beyond their control. However, one of the ways an importer can use his or her whit and intelligence is known as "Tariff Engineering." The importing laws in the United States are for the most part narrowly tailored to a specific item. For example, you import an adult bicycle and there is a tariff duty rate for that bicycle. However, this strict construction of items based on a tariff may benefit the importer. That same adult bicycle[...]

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