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CBP Guidance on Duty-Free Claims for Goods Returning to the U.S.

Thursday, February 02, 2017
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued Jan. 31 a message setting forth the different documents it may request to verify duty-free claims under HTSUS 9801.00.10.

Effective for goods entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption on or after April 25, 2016, this subheading was expanded to allow duty-free treatment for all products, regardless of country of origin, that are exported from and returned to the U.S. without having been advanced in value or improved in condition by any process of manufacture or other means while abroad. There is no time limit for filing a claim under this subheading for U.S.-origin products but claims for foreign-origin products must be filed within three years.

CBP states that the following documents may be requested from the importer to determine if the duty-free exemption under HTSUS 9801.00.10 applies.

Foreign shipper declaration. For either U.S.-manufactured goods or foreign-origin goods (for formal entries valued over $2,500 only), CBP may require a declaration by the foreign shipper indicating that the products were not advanced in value or condition while outside the U.S. A certificate from the master of a vessel stating that the products are returned without having been unladen from the exporting vessel may be accepted in lieu of the declaration by the foreign shipper.

Manufacturer’s affidavit. For U.S.-manufactured goods (for formal entries valued over $2,500 only) not clearly marked with the name and address of the U.S. manufacturer, CBP may require a manufacturer’s affidavit confirming that the articles were made in the U.S.

Proof of export. One of the following documents will be deemed sufficient proof of export from the U.S. for U.S.-manufactured goods or foreign-origin goods provided that the information contained therein proves an export: copy of the entry into the foreign country, U.S. export invoice or bill of lading/airway bill, or Electronic Export Information or Automated Export System filing exemption. 

Aircraft. For aircraft and aircraft parts and equipment returned to the U.S. by or for the account of an aircraft owner or operator and intended for use in his own aircraft operations within or outside the U.S., CBP may require a Form 3311 or its electronic equivalent.

For U.S.-manufactured aircraft returning to the U.S. that were sold to a foreign government under the Foreign Military Sales program, formal entry is required if any maintenance is being performed on the aircraft while in the U.S. and the repairs must be authorized via a specific case line in the letter of offer and acceptance (the sales agreement). At the time the aircraft is exported the EEI has to be filed for the maintenance of the aircraft.

For U.S.-manufactured aircraft returning to the U.S. that were sold to a foreign government under the FMS program and are returning for modifications or enhancements, formal entry is required and the EEI submission (citing the DDTC export license (DSP-5)) is required at the time of export.

Licensed by State Dept. For U.S.-origin goods that were originally exported under a Department of State license that are now being reimported, formal entry is required regardless of value along with the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls partnership government agency message set.

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