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Category: Tariff Classification

  • Customs Attorney: Commercial Invoice and Footwear

    In general, a commercial invoice should provide enough information for a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer to determine if the goods being imported are admissible, and if so, what the correct rate of duty should be applicable based on its Harmonized Tariff Number. Customs does not provide a specific format for a commercial invoice, however they do provide the elements that should be on an invoice in 19 C.F.R. 141.85. At a minimum, an invoice should: 1. Describe the item clearly 2. Give the quantity 3. State the value[...]

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  • Customs Attorney: Notice of Action CF-29

    When Customs believes that there should be a change in classification or an increase in duty they are required to issue what is called a "Notice of Action" - Customs Form 29. A notice of action signifies Customs intentions to change the way current and possibly future shipments will be treated. The notice will provide the importer with two possible Customs actions; "Action Taken" or "Action Proposed." 1. Action Taken - Once Customs indicates that Action has been taken, any increase in duties can only be addressed via protest or[...]

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  • Customs Attorney: Request for Information – CF 28

    When goods are presented at the border for entry into the United States, Customs, at the point of liquidation, makes a final determination as to the classification and valuation, or other requirements pertaining to the imported goods. How does Customs make that determination? Customs uses the information provided by the importer such as the commercial invoice and other documentation at the time of entry. Issues arise when Customs finds that the information given to them is inaccurate, incomplete, or insufficient whereby Customs cannot formulate a decision. Customs may give the[...]

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  • Customs Attorney: Substantial Transformation

    A quick explanation of substantial transformation:As mentioned in the earlier post - Country of Origin - substantial transformation is the degree to which processing of an article leads to a new article, with a different name, character, and use. In addition, Customs uses a second method known as the “tariff shift” i.e. change in tariff classification, which is also used to determine substantial transformation. As of now, there are no uniform rules that settle country of origin questions. As a result, substantial transformation can be highly subjective and tend to[...]

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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: 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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