In a recent CSMS message, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has issued updated guidance on importer’s—and broker’s—responsibilities for U.S. and foreign goods returning under HTS 9801.00.10 from their previous CSMS message in 2017. 

Under HTS 9801.00.10, goods are allowed to be entered duty-free, if the importer has the required documentation to prove that the goods were either:

  • Originally manufactured in the United States
  • Foreign manufactured articles previously imported, exported and are now being returned to the United States within three years of exportation, without having been advanced in value or improved in condition by any process of manufacture or other means while abroad

In this guidance, CBP places the burden of proof on the importer to substantiate their claim for duty-free treatment under HTS 9801.00.10 with proper supporting documentation. Brokers have a responsibility to communicate what documentation is required as part of the Importer’s records.  

What are some of the required CBP documentation under HTS 9801.00.10?

Importers have a recordkeeping responsibility, per 19 CFR Part 163, to retain the below mentioned declarations, as they are required in the (a)(1)(A) list for articles exported and returned in part 10.1.

Declaration by Foreign Shipper will be prepared by the foreign shipper to indicate that the products were not advanced in value or improved in condition while outside the United States.

Declaration by the Owner, Importer, Consignee, or Agent.

Important: When the owner or ultimate consignee is a corporation, the declaration “may be signed by the president, vice president, secretary, or treasurer of the corporation, or may be signed by an employee or agent of the corporation who holds a power of at­torney and a certification by the corporation that such employee or other agent has or will have knowledge of the pertinent facts.”

The bottom line is that importers will need to complete these declarations, retain, and provide—if requested—to CBP and ensure that the appropriate person is authorized to sign the declaration.

For U.S. manufactured goods valued over $2,500—and entered three years after the date of exportation—that arenot clearly marked with the name and address of the U.S. manufacturer, CBP may require, in addition to the above declarations, a manufacturer’s affidavit.

Finally, CBP highlighted that there will be “no substitution of the same type of articles under an inventory management system may occur. This merchandise must meet all of the requirements such that it was not advanced in value or changed in condition, and not processed under a drawback claim or Temporary Importation under Bond (TIB) entry.”

What documents are required as proof of export?

CBP advises that anyone of the following documents will be sufficient proof of export from the USA for U.S. manufactured goods or foreign origin goods, provided the information contained therein proves an export from the United States:

  • Copy of the entry into the foreign country
  • U.S. export invoice or bill of lading/airway bill; orc. Electronic Export Information (EEI) or the Automated Export System (AES) filing exemption

Finally, it is important to note that there are special requirements for certain commodities like aircraft, their parts, as well as U.S. origin goods exported under a DOS license, etc. A careful read of these requirements is recommended.

If you have questions about these requirements or documents, please reach out to your Mohawk Global Representative.

Related articles:

U.S. Customs Clarifies Guidance for Duty Free Return Foreign Goods

White Paper: Changes Allow for Duty Free Return of Foreign Goods

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Jim Trubits