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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 importer an opportunity to add additional information, clarify what was provided, or provide a sample of the imported product in order for Customs to make a final determination.

The means by which Customs does this is via a Request for Information – Customs Form 28 (CF 28) – see it here. The importer must be cautious; responding to Customs’ questions may have future effects. Importers should ask themselves, why is Customs asking me this question, and what effect will my answer have on my shipments. This is the opportunity to make your case to Customs for present and future treatment.

The importer has 30 days to respond in writing to Customs from the date of issuance. If not possible to respond within that time frame a request for an extension can be asked for and usually obtained from the Customs Import Specialist handling the matter. If a Request for Information is not responded to, Customs will most often presume the least favorable interpretation of the facts, thus leaving the importer in a financial disadvantage. Therefore, it is vital that CF 28 be responded to properly and with the help of an experienced person who can guide the importer in the appropriate direction.

Contact us today at 347-512-9007 regarding a CF 28 you received, time is of the essence!

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