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Here are a few best practices for your annual customs review. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help.
Classification– review updates to Harmonized Tariff to make sure your codes and descriptions are accurate. Proper classification and valuation of imported goods are the first step in compliance. If you do nothing else, do this!
Duty Drawback– you may qualify for a refund of duties paid on imports that are later exported. As supply chains expand look for new opportunities for drawback. Record keeping is key here.
Chapter 98 of the Harmonized Tariff allows duty free entry of certain categories of goods. Examples are: American Goods Returned, American Goods Repaired or Altered Abroad, and American Components Assembled Abroad.
Check for trade agreements– programs which allow duty free or reduced duty rate entries.
Customs rulings– consider requesting formal customs rulings prior to large transactions. This ensures compliance and eliminates uncertainty about imports. Rulings can be requested thru the CBP website.
Correcting errors– when an entry mistake is discovered it can be corrected by a prior disclosure to CBP. The formal process is a Post-Entry Amendment/Post Summary Correction. A voluntary disclosure can help mitigate penalties.