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CBP Guidance on US Goods Returning Duty-Free

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued CSMS message 17-000046 clarifying the documentation requirements for the claim of US Goods Returning under tariff code 9801.00.10.  This claim of duty free treatment is often one of the most misunderstood by importers and exporters.

The tariff number 9801.00.10 can apply to both US manufactured goods and goods manufactured abroad.  However, if the good were manufactured outside of the United States, the goods would need to have been previously imported into the United States with duty paid then exported from the US before being re-imported into the United States within three (3) years.  The best example of this would be goods that were manufactured in a foreign company, sold to a company in Canada, found to be defective, and are subsequently returning within three years.

If the commodity was manufactured in the United States, CBP may require a manufacturer’s affidavit and it must be available upon request. When foreign made goods are returning to the US after being abroad for less than three years, US Customs may require the foreign entry documents.  These documents must be made available upon request as well. These additional forms are not required at the time of entry.

In both scenarios, a “Declaration of Foreign Shipper” is required at the time of entry to fulfill the requirement of certification of the goods not being advanced in value or improved in condition while abroad.  In short, if your company uses the tariff number 9801, be sure to include the “Declaration of Foreign Shipper.”

Failure to provide the additional documentation will result in the assessment of duty.  Repeated failure to substantiate the claim could result in penalties.


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COVID-19 is a global challenge. Keeping our supply chains moving is important for maintaining the health and wellbeing of citizens and businesses. While the Canada - U.S. border is now closed to non-essential traffic, it is still open for trade and commerce. We are committed to doing our part for global supply chains.

We are protecting the health and safety of our employees. They are working from home, except for critical functions that require certain equipment or managing paper/courier flow. In those cases we are following social distancing guidelines.

We are open and available to assist you, and key players in your supply chains. Our dedicated staff are available 24/7 and our brokerage and logistics experts are available to help you make adjustments to your supply chain, if necessary.

We encourage you to check out the government programs available to families, businesses, exporters and importers. And, while respecting the need for social distancing we encourage everyone, including our staff, to reach out and remain connected to family, friends, colleagues and customers.

Stay safe.

Peter Willson
Chairman & CEO
Willson International

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