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ASKING AND ANSWERING THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS MAY BE HELPFUL IN ASSISTING IMPORTERS IN THE EXERCISE OF REASONABLE CARE:

Reasonable Care

GENERAL QUESTIONS FOR ALL TRANSACTIONS:

 

1. Do you have access to the CBP Regulations (Title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations), the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), and the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) publication Customs Bulletin and Decisions? Do you have access to the CBP website, Customs Rulings Online Search Service (CROSS), or another research service to permit you to establish reliable procedures and facilitate compliance with customs laws and regulations?

 

2. Has a responsible and knowledgeable individual within your organization reviewed the customs documentation prepared by you or your expert to ensure that it is full, complete and accurate? If that documentation was prepared outside your own organization, do you have a reliable system in place to ensure that you receive copies of the information as submitted to CBP; that it is reviewed for accuracy; and that CBP is timely apprised of any needed corrections?

 

3. If you use an expert to assist you in complying with customs requirements, have you discussed your importations in advance with that person and have you provided that person with full, complete and accurate information about the import transactions? Do you follow the advice received from your expert and keep a written record of that advice?

 

4. Do you have a customs compliance program and procedures in place to ensure that your entries are submitted correctly? Are they accessible to all employees who are involved in the importation process?

 

5. Are identical transactions or merchandise handled differently at different ports or within the same Center of Excellence and Expertise? If so, have you brought this to the attention of the appropriate CBP officials?

 

QUESTIONS ARRANGED BY TOPIC:

 

Merchandise Description & Tariff Classification

 

Basic Question: Do you know or have you established a reliable procedure or program to ensure that you know what you ordered, where it was made, how it was made and what it is made of?

 

1. Have you provided or established reliable procedures to ensure you provide a complete and accurate description of your merchandise to CBP in accordance with 19 U.S. Customs & Border Protection 9 U.S.C. § 1481? (Also, see 19 C.F.R. § 141.87 and 19 C.F.R. § 141.89 for special merchandise description requirements.)

 

2. Have you provided or established reliable procedures to ensure you provide a correct tariff classification of your merchandise to CBP in accordance with 19 U.S.C. § 1484? Information regarding tariff classification can be found in the CBP Informed Compliance Publication: "What Every Member of the Trade Community Should Know About: Tariff Classification".

 

3. Have you obtained a "ruling" from CBP regarding the description of the merchandise or its tariff classification (see 19 C.F.R. Part 177), and if so, have you established reliable procedures to ensure that you have followed the ruling and brought it to CBP’s attention? Ruling requests may be submitted electronically by accessing the eRulings template. However, if you cannot meet the requirements for submitting an electronic ruling request, you can still submit a request for a binding ruling by mail to:

 

Director, National Commodity Specialist Division

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Attn: CIE/Ruling Request 2

01 Varick Street, Suite 501

New York, NY 10014

 

4. Where merchandise description or tariff classification information is not immediately available, have you established a reliable procedure for obtaining and providing that information, and is the procedure being followed?

 

5. Have you consulted the HTS, CBP's informed compliance publications, court cases and/or CBP’s rulings on CROSS to assist you in describing and classifying the merchandise?

 

6. Have you consulted with a customs "expert" (e.g., an attorney, licensed customs broker, or a customs consultant) to assist in the description and/or classification of the merchandise?

 

7. If you are claiming a conditionally free or special tariff classification/provision for your merchandise (e.g., Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), heading 9802, etc.), how have you verified that the merchandise qualifies for such status? Have you obtained or developed reliable procedures to obtain any required or necessary documentation to support the claim? For example, if making a NAFTA preference claim, do you already have the required origin information in your possession?

 

8. Is the nature of your merchandise such that a laboratory analysis or other specialized procedure is suggested to assist in proper description and classification? U.S. Customs & Border Protection 

 

9. Have you developed a reliable program or procedure to maintain and produce any required customs entry documentation and supporting information

 

 

Valuation

 

Basic Questions: Do you know or have you established reliable procedures to know the price actually paid or payable for your merchandise? Do you know the terms of sale (i.e., Incoterms® such as Ex Works (EXW), Free on Board (FOB), or Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF); whether there will be rebates, tie-ins, indirect costs, additional payments; whether assists were provided, commissions or royalties paid? Are amounts actual or estimated? Are you and the seller related parties?

 

1. Have you provided or established reliable procedures to provide CBP with a proper declared value for your merchandise in accordance with 19 U.S.C. § 1484 and 19 U.S.C. § 1401a?

 

2. Have you obtained a "ruling" from CBP regarding the valuation of the merchandise (see 19 C.F.R. Part 177), and if so, have you established reliable procedures to ensure that you have followed the ruling and brought it to CBP’s attention? Valuation ruling requests should be mailed to:

 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Office of Trade Regulations and Rulings

Valuation and Special Programs

Branch 90 K Street, NE, 10th Floor

Washington, DC 20229-1177

 

3. Have you consulted the CBP valuation laws and regulations, Customs Valuation Encyclopedia, CBP's informed compliance publications, court cases and CBP’s rulings on CROSS to assist you in valuing merchandise?

 

4. Have you consulted with a customs "expert" (e.g., attorney, licensed customs broker, customs consultant) to assist in the valuation of the merchandise?

 

5. Do you have a complete set of documents from the import transaction ready for CBP review, including purchase orders, invoices, sales agreements, shipping documents, and proof of payment?

 

6. If you purchased the merchandise from a "related" seller, have you established procedures to ensure that you have reported that fact upon entry and taken measures or established reliable procedures to ensure that value reported to CBP meets one of the "related party" tests? See 19 U.S.C. § 1401a(b)(2)(B); 19 C.F.R § 152.103(l).

 

7. If there is no bona fide sale for exportation to the United States between the buyer and the seller, have you considered the other valuation methods in the order specified in 19 U.S.C. § 1401a(a)?

 

8. If the deductive value is used as the method of appraisement of the imported merchandise, do you have information concerning the subsequent sales in the United States of the merchandise being appraised, identical or similar merchandise, as well as the enumerated deductions under 19 U.S.C. § 1401a(d)?

 

9. If the computed value is used as the method of appraisement of the imported merchandise, do you have information concerning the various elements of this method of appraisement under 19 U.S.C. § 1401a(e) including the material and processing costs incurred in the production of the merchandise, profit and general expenses, the value of any assists, and packing costs?

 

10. Have you taken measures or established reliable procedures to ensure that all of the legally required costs or payments associated with the imported merchandise have been reported to CBP (e.g., assists, all commissions, indirect payments or rebates, royalties, proceeds, etc.)?

 

11. If you are declaring a value based on a transaction in which you were/are not the buyer, have you substantiated that the transaction is a bona fide sale at arm’s length and that the merchandise was clearly destined to the United States at the time of sale?

 

12. If you are claiming a conditionally free or special tariff classification/provision for your merchandise (e.g., GSP, heading 9802, NAFTA, etc.), have you established a reliable system or program to ensure that you reported the required value information and obtained any required or necessary documentation to support the claim?

 

13. Have you established a reliable program or procedure to produce any required entry documentation and supporting information?

 

 

Country of Origin/Marking/Quota

 

Basic Question: Have you taken reliable measures to ascertain the correct country of origin for the imported merchandise?

 

1. Have you established reliable procedures to ensure that you report the correct country of origin on customs entry documents? The country of origin reporting regulations include, but are not limited to, 19 C.F.R. Part 134, Subparts B and E. Additional information regarding country of origin marking requirements may be found in the CBP Publication, “What Every Member of the Trade Community Needs to Know About: U.S. Rules of Origin – Preferential and Non-Preferential Rules of Origin”.

 

2. Have you established reliable procedures to verify or ensure that the merchandise is properly marked upon entry with the correct country of origin (if required) in accordance U.S. Customs & Border Protection 12 with 19 U.S.C. § 1304 and any other applicable special marking requirement (watches, gold, textile labeling, etc.)? Information regarding special marking requirements may be found in CBP's informed compliance publications.

 

3. Have you obtained a "ruling" from CBP regarding the proper marking and country of origin of the merchandise (see 19 C.F.R. Part 177), and if so, have you established reliable procedures to ensure that you followed the ruling and brought it to CBP’s attention? Ruling requests may be submitted electronically by accessing the eRulings template. However, if you cannot meet the requirements for submitting an electronic ruling request, you can still submit a request for a binding ruling by mail to: Director, National Commodity Specialist Division U.S. Customs and Border Protection Attn: CIE/Ruling Request 201 Varick Street, Suite 501 New York, NY 10014

 

4. Have you consulted with a customs "expert" (e.g., an attorney, licensed customs broker, or a customs consultant) regarding the correct country of origin/proper marking of your merchandise?

 

5. Have you taken reliable and adequate measures to communicate customs country of origin marking requirements to your foreign supplier prior to importation of your merchandise?

 

6. If you are claiming a change in the origin of the merchandise or claiming that the goods are of U.S. origin, have you taken required measures to substantiate your claim (e.g., do you have U.S. milling certificates or manufacturer's affidavits attesting to the production in the United States)?

 

7. If you are importing textiles or apparel, have you developed reliable procedures to ensure that you have ascertained the correct country of origin in accordance with 19 U.S.C. § 3592 (Section 334, Pub. Law 103-465) and assured yourself that no illegal transshipment or false or fraudulent practices were involved?

 

8. Do you know how your goods are made, from raw materials to finished goods, by whom and where?

 

9. Have you checked the CBP Quota Enforcement and Administration website, as well as its link to the CBP publication: “Are my goods subject to Quota?”.

 

10. Have you established reliable procedures to check Commodity Status Reports and Tariff Preference Levels and/or the quota bulletins issued by CBP to determine if your goods are subject to a quantitative restriction (either a tariff rate quota or a tariff preference level) and whether the limit has been filled?

 

11. Have you taken reliable measures to ensure whether your goods are subject to visa(s) and/or licenses, permits or certificates (LPCs)? If so, have you obtained the appropriate visa(s) and/or LPCs? See https://www.cbp.gov/trade/ace/features/quotaace.

 

12. In the case of textile articles, have you prepared or developed a reliable program to accurately construct the Manufacturer’s Identification (MID) codes for all shipments of textile and textile products listed in 19 C.F.R. § 102.21(b)(5)?

 

13. Have you established a reliable document maintenance program or procedure to ensure you can produce any required entry documentation and supporting information, including any required certificates of origin or certifications?

 

 

 

Intellectual Property Rights

 

Basic Question: Have you determined or established a reliable procedure to permit you to determine whether your merchandise or its packaging bears or uses any trademarks or copyrighted matter or is patented and, if so, that you have a legal right to import those items into, and/or use those items in, the United States?

 

1. If you are importing goods or packaging bearing a trademark registered in the United States, have you checked or established a reliable procedure to ensure that it is genuine and not restricted from importation under the gray-market or parallel import requirements of U.S. law (see 19 C.F.R. § 133.21), or that you have permission from the trademark holder to import such merchandise?

 

2. If you are importing goods or packaging which consist of, or contain registered copyrighted material, have you checked or established a reliable procedure to ensure that it is authorized and genuine? If you are importing sound recordings of live performances, were the recordings authorized?

 

3. If you are importing goods that have been refurbished or remanufactured, do you have documentation detailing the remanufacturing process?

 

4. Have you checked or developed a reliable procedure to see if your merchandise is subject to a U.S. International Trade Commission or court-ordered exclusion order?

 

5. Have you established a reliable procedure to ensure that you maintain and can produce any required entry documentation and supporting information?

 

 

 

Miscellaneous Questions

 

1. Have you taken measures or developed reliable procedures to ensure that your merchandise complies with other agency requirements (e.g., FDA, EPA/DOT, CPSC, FTC, Agriculture, etc.) prior to or upon entry, including the procurement of any necessary licenses or permits?

 

2. Have you taken measures or developed reliable procedures to check to see if your goods are subject to a Commerce Department antidumping or countervailing duty investigation or determination, and if so, have you complied or developed reliable procedures to ensure compliance with customs reporting requirements upon entry (e.g., 19 C.F.R. § 141.61)?

 

3. Is your merchandise subject to quota and/or visa requirements, and if so, have you provided or developed a reliable procedure to provide a correct visa or other documents for the goods upon entry?

 

4. Have you taken reliable measures to ensure and verify that you are submitting the correct type of CBP entry (e.g., TIB, T&E, consumption entry, antidumping or countervailing duty entry, mail entry, etc.)?

 

5. Have you established that you have the right to make entry?