A protest (Customs Form 19) is a means by which an importer can contest the way in which an entry was finalized or liquidated. Generally, any issue regarding the value, classification, or admissibility of an entry may be raised after liquidation. 19 U.S.C. § 1514; 19 C.F.R. § 174.13.
A protest is required to be filed within 180 days (no extensions permitted) after liquidation or reliquidation of the entry (19 U.S.C. § 1514(c)(3)(A); 19 C.F.R. § 174.12(e)) or within 180 days if liquidation is inapplicable (19 U.S.C. § 1514(c)(3)(B); 19 C.F.R. § 174.12(e)(2)).
The protest form asks for basic information regarding the entry, however it is in the importers best interest to supplement the protest with a detailed analysis of why Customs should grant the claim. Generally, the protest is reviewed by local Customs, however there is an option to request that the protest be reviewed by Customs Headquarters in Washington.
If the protest is approved the entry will be reliquidated and refund due (if applicable) to those entries that were protested. 19 U.S.C. § 1515(a); 19 C.F.R. § 174.29.
For protests involving the payment of duties, if the duties have been paid and the protest is approved then Customs pays the refund amount plus interest that has accrued from the payment date. If the duty has not been paid and the protest is rejected the importer pays the duty plus interest accrued from the date that payment was due. 19 C.F.R. § 24.36.
You may call us at 347-512-9007 for legal assistance in preparing a proper protest.