Background

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued a final rule that, effective Aug. 7, removes some of the requirements for documentation used to establish proof of exportation for drawback claims. This rule also amends CBP’s regulations to reflect that there is no longer a legal requirement that the export invoice for mail shipments be certified.

STTAS will conduct a webinar Sept. 16 to review the types of drawback available and how to take advantage of them. Click here for more information or to register.

Drawback Documentation. To qualify for drawback, claimants must establish that articles are exported or destroyed. When drawback is claimed for exported goods, the claimant must submit documentation that establishes fully the date and fact of exportation and the identity of the exporter. For certain types of drawback claims subject to NAFTA, documentation must also establish the identity and location of the ultimate consignee of the exported goods. The documents for establishing exportation include a bill of lading, air waybill, freight waybill, Canadian Customs manifest and/or cargo manifest. If the export is a mail shipment, vessel supply or transfer to a foreign-trade zone, other procedures to establish exportation may apply.

Currently, drawback claimants must provide originally signed documentary evidence or a certified copy of such evidence to establish the date and fact of exportation for drawback purposes. However, CBP notes that acquiring pen and ink signatures is time-consuming and often unrealistic because the documents are issued electronically. Drawback claims are often denied when claimants can produce only documentary evidence that does not contain a signature or copies of such documents that are not certified.

As a result, CBP is removing the requirement that the documentary evidence that establishes the date and fact of exportation for drawback eligibility be originally signed or that any copy of such documentary evidence be certified. Claimants may now provide unsigned originals or uncertified copies of documentary evidence as proof of export for drawback eligibility.

Export Invoice. CBP currently requires a certified export invoice for mail shipments pursuant to 19 CFR 191.72(c), which references 19 CFR 191.74. However, the latter section does not require a claimant to submit a certified copy of the export invoice and instead only requires that the claimant provide the official postal records. Accordingly, CBP is revising section 191.74 to clarify that claimants submitting postal records in support of exportation may submit either originals or uncertified copies.

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