When Customs Visits a Textile Factory

November 26, 2012
By Michelle Kelley

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If you’ve ever been curious about what happens when Customs visits factories abroad, check out the “Textile Teams” article in the latest issue ofFrontline Magazine.

The article follows a group of special agents as they travel to Guatemala for unannounced inspections of textile factories that ship to the U.S.

At each factory, the agents attempt to verify compliance with the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement for one U.S. imported good that was produced there.

It’s an interesting read, with first-hand accounts of how Customs agents confirm that a good truly qualifies for duty free treatment. If nothing else, it should serve as a cautionary tale for textile/clothing importers to choose their foreign suppliers carefully. During one particular factory visit, it is made clear how poor recordkeeping practices on the foreign supplier’s side can jeopardize a U.S. importer’s duty-free claim, or worse, entice Customs to target and scrutinize all future imports from that factory.

Read the article here (pick “Textile Teams” in the table of contents drop down menu).

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