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[...]
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[...]
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[...]
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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