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CBP Revises Requirements for Post-Importation Preference Claims with Classification Change

Thursday, November 03, 2011
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued Oct. 31 administrative guidance amending a June 23 memo concerning the scope and administration of 19 USC 1520(d) post-importation preference claims (520(d) claims). CBP will now allow such claims to include a classification change or, under certain limited situations, a value change where the change directly affects the preference claim. This revised policy eliminates the need to simultaneously employ standard administrative remedies to make such corrections.

19 USC 1520(d) allows for a preference claim to be made within one year of the date of importation if a claim was not made at entry summary, and it is the only mechanism to make a post-importation preference claim on certain free trade agreements. CBP had previously stated that this statutory provision only allows changes to the entry summary that bear directly on the preference claim but does not include changes to tariff classification or valuation. As a result, importers and brokers were required to use existing regulatory provisions to make corrections to an entry summary; i.e., a post-entry amendment, a post-summary correction or a 19 USC 1514 protest.

Under CBP’s new guidance, importers may make a classification or valuation change to the entry line on which a preference claim is being made if that change enables the good to meet the terms of the preference program using 520(d). Importers will not have to file a PEA, PSC or protest for these types of changes. However, any changes to entry lines not included in the preference claim will need to be changed via those standard procedures.

Ports have been advised to review any decisions made pursuant to the June 23 memo to see if further actions are now necessary. Importers should also review any such submissions to ensure that their claims are processed properly and in accordance with this new guidance.

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