Importers Beware

Importers, if you have been relying on your suppliers for HTS classifications of your products check this September 2022 CBP ruling. Briefly, it states that suppliers are not qualified to provide HTS classifications unless they employ LCBs (Licensed Customs Brokers), even with a disclaimer that the information is advisory.

Classifying goods for others is “customs business” and must be carried out by a licensed customs broker. Pursuant to 19 U.S.C. § 1641(b)(1), “[n]o person may conduct customs business (other than solely on behalf of that person) unless that person holds a valid customs broker’s license . . . .”

The ruling includes the following language which explains that classifying to the six digit level is not considered customs business:

We note, however, that CBP has consistently held that classifying goods to the six-digit level of the HTS is not customs business and does not require a customs broker’s license. This level of classification “does not constitute customs business because the six-digit HTS provision is insufficient for entry.”

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