Background

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued updated guidance concerning importer and broker responsibilities in filing duty-free claims under HTSUS 9801.00.10 and documents that CBP may request to support such claims.

CBP states that in April 2016 HTSUS 9801.00.10 was expanded to include all products exported from and returned to the U.S. regardless of country of origin. There is no time limit on filing duty-free claims under this subheading for U.S.-origin products, but claims for foreign-origin products must be filed within three years. The importer has the burden of proving its claim, except if the broker obligates itself as the importer of record, in which case it will assume the legal responsibility and burden to provide the required documents to substantiate the claim.
CBP’s updated guidance states that, for shipments valued over $2,500, the following documents may be requested from the importer to determine if the duty-free exemption under HTSUS 9801.00.10 applies.

- For either U.S.-manufactured goods or foreign-origin goods: (1) declaration by foreign shipper indicating that the products were not advanced in value or improved in 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 this declaration), and (2) declaration by the owner, importer, consignee, or agent having knowledge of the facts regarding the claim.

- For U.S.-manufactured goods entered three years after the date of exportation that are not clearly marked with the name and address of the U.S. manufacturer, CBP may require, in addition to the declarations above, additional documents to substantiate the claim, including a statement from the U.S. manufacturer verifying that the articles were made in the U.S.

- One of the following documents will be deemed sufficient proof of export for U.S.-manufactured goods or foreign-origin goods provided the information contained therein proves an export: (1) copy of the entry into the foreign country, or (2) U.S. export invoice or bill of lading/airway bill or electronic export information or Automated Export System filing exemption. Documentation may be requested to substantiate that the same articles exported are being returned, and no substitution of the same type of articles under an inventory management system may occur.

- 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., a CBP Form 3311 or its electronic equivalent may be used. The form must show (1) the name of the importing vessel or conveyance, (2) the date of its arrival, (3) a description of the articles, (4) the value of the articles, and (5) that the articles are intended for use by the aircraft owner or operator in his own aircraft operations.

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

- 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. The repairs must be authorized via a specific case line in the letter of offer and acceptance. At the time of export 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 Foreign Military Sales program where modifications or enhancements will be made to the aircraft, the following is required for the import and subsequent export of the aircraft: (1) formal entry is required, and (2) at the time of export the EEI submission is required, citing the DDTC export license (DSP-5).

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