This is a long post. It is basically just all the notes I took while reading customs documents and speaking with customs officials. Much of it may be useless additional information (like all of the possibly Harmonized Tariff codes that the mask COULD be, once we figure out which one it SHOULD be). If you want to import a mask and want to figure out customs, you can just go through the rest of my posts in this series. You do not need to read through this post. If you want to import a fur suit, you might want to at least look at the stuff here towards the bottom where I break down all the relevant chapters of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule.

All of my notes are after the break, here:

1. Include all information required on your customs invoices.
2. Prepare your invoices carefully. Type them clearly. Allow sufficient space
between lines. Keep the data within each column.
3. Make sure that your invoices contain the information that would be shown on a
well-prepared packing list.
5. Show a detailed description on your invoice of each item of merchandise
contained in each individual package.
6. Mark your goods legibly and conspicuously with the country of origin
7. Comply with the provisions of any special laws of the United States that may
apply to your goods, such as laws relating to food, drugs, cosmetics, alcoholic
beverages, radioactive materials, and others. (See Chapters 33, 34 and 35.)
8. Observe the instructions closely with respect to invoicing, packaging, marking,
labeling, etc., sent to you by your customer in the United States.
11. Consider shipping on a carrier participating in the Automated Manifest System

When a shipment reaches the United States, the importer of record (i.e., the
owner, purchaser, or licensed customs broker designated by the owner, purchaser, or
consignee) will file entry documents for the goods with the port director at the goods’
port of entry. Imported goods are not legally entered until after the shipment has arrived
within the port of entry, delivery of the merchandise has been authorized by CBP, and
estimated duties have been paid. It is the importer of record’s responsibility to arrange for
examination and release of the goods.

Atlanta port of entry (CPB):
157 Tradeport Drive
Atlanta, GA 30354

Operational Hours:
8:00 AM-5:00 PM (Eastern), Seven Days A Week (7) Professionalism Services Manager: Michael Fowlkes (678) 399-4905
Office 8am-4:30pm M-F
Phone: (404) 675-1300
Fax: (404) 675-1231
Port Director: Stephen Kremer
Cargo 404-675-1302

No duty – value determine how you get your shipment – under $2500 – need receipts – airline will call then I call cargo to pick up.
Artist would give a receipt + docs describing = they want to make sure its not stolen.
From cousin – needs to somehow show how he acquired it, so its not stolen.

3 ways – Fedex commercial, airlines (cargo), or postal service. PS will charge you fees, incl. Customs, etc. – Postal service has their own customs. I should call atl postmaster general/customs – customs branch.

Items must include VAT already paid. Receipt should show cost I paid + VAT + Shipping fees.

Atlanta USPS Office 404-765-7570
1-800-ask-usps – 800-275-8777

Shipper fills out forms – comes into either NY or Miami – Attach a customs form on the package – Customs gets it and assesses duties and fees, and gets it to the USPS. USPS delivers and you pay USPS for the fees. No way to tell what the fees are ahead of time.

List of Brokers for the Atlanta port:

NOTE: In addition to contacting CBP, importers should contact other agencies when
questions arise about particular commodities. For example, questions about products
regulated by the Food and Drug Administration should be forwarded to the nearest FDA
district office (check local phone book under U.S. government listings) or to the Import
Division, FDA Headquarters, 301.443.6553. The same is true for alcohol, tobacco,
firearms, wildlife products (furs, skins, shells), motor vehicles, and other products and
merchandise regulated by the other federal agencies for which CBP enforces entry laws.
Appropriate agencies are identified on page 197.

U.S. Department of Agriculture
Agricultural Marketing Service
Washington, DC 20250
Tel. 202.720.8998

U.S. Department of Commerce
Exporter Counseling Division
14th Street & Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20230
Tel. 202.482.4811

Riverdale, MD 20737–1231
Tel. 301.734.7885

NMFS Southwest Region
Protected Species Management Division
501 West Ocean Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90802-4213
Tel. 562.980.4019

U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Office of Regulations and Rulings
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20229
Tel. 202.572-8700

CBP Office of Field Operations
Trade Programs Division
1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20229
Tel. 202.344.0300

U.S. Department of the Interior
Fish and Wildlife Service
Office of Management Authority
4401 N. Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22203
Tel. 703.358.2093

Federal Trade Commission
Bureau of Consumer Protection
Washington, DC 20580
Tel. 202.326.2996
Division of Enforcement
Washington, DC 20580
Tel. 202.326.2996

International Trade Commission
500 “E” Street, SW
Washington, DC 20436
Tel. 202.205.2000

Arrangements for transporting the
merchandise in-bond to an in-land port may be made by the consignee or by a customs
broker or by any other person with an interest in the goods for that purpose. Unless your
merchandise arrives directly at the port where you wish to enter it, you may be charged
additional fees by the carrier for transportation to that port unless other arrangements
have been made. Under some circumstances, your goods may be released through your
local port of entry, even if they arrive at
a different U.S. port from a foreign country.
Prior to the goods’ arrival, arrangements for entry must be made at the CBP port of entry
where you intend to file your duties and documentation.

Evidence Of Right To Make Entry
Goods may only be entered by their owner, purchaser, or a licensed customs
broker. When the goods are consigned “to order,” the bill of lading, properly endorsed by
the consignor, may serve as evidence of the right to make entry. An air waybill may be
used for merchandise arriving by air.
In most instances, entry is made by a person or firm certified by the carrier
bringing the goods to the port of entry. This entity (i.e., the person or firm certified) is
considered the “owner” of the goods for customs purposes.

The document issued by the carrier for this purpose is known as a “Carrier’s
Certificate.” In certain circumstances, entry may be made by means of a duplicate bill of lading or a shipping
receipt. When the goods are not imported by a common carrier, possession of the goods
by the importer at the time of arrival shall be deemed sufficient evidence of the right to
make entry.

Entry Documents
Within 15 calendar days of the date
that a shipment arrives at a U.S. port of entry,
entry documents must be filed at a location specified by the port director. These
documents are:

• Entry Manifest (CBP Form 7533) or Application and Special Permit for Immediate Delivery (CBP Form 3461) or other form of merchandise release required by the port director,
• Evidence of right to make entry,
• Commercial invoice or a pro forma invoice when the commercial invoice cannot be produced,
• Packing lists, if appropriate,
• Other documents necessary to determine merchandise admissibility.
If the goods are to be released from CBP custody at the time of entry, an entry
summary for consumption must be filed and estimated duties deposited at the port of
entry within 10 working days of the goods’ entry.

The entry must be accompanied by evidence that a bond has been posted with
CBP to cover any potential duties, taxes, and charges that may accrue. Bonds may be
secured through a resident U.S. surety company, but may be posted in the form of United
States currency or certain United States government obligations. In the event that a
customs broker is employed for the purpose of making entry, the broker may permit the
use of his bond to provide the required coverage.

Entry Summary Documentation
Following presentation of the entry, the shipment may be examined, or
examination may be waived. The shipment is then released if no legal or regulatory
violations have occurred. Entry summary documentation is filed and estimated duties are
deposited within 10 working days of the entry of the merchandise at a designated
customhouse. Entry summary documentation consists of:

• Return of the entry package to the importer, broker, or his authorized agent after merchandise is permitted release,
• Entry summary (CBP Form 7501),
• Other invoices and documents necessary to assess duties, collect statistics, or determine that all import requirements have been satisfied. This paper documentation can be reduced or eliminated by using features of the ABI.

Mail Entries
Importers have found that in some cases it is to their advantage to use the national
postal service—that is, a country’s mail system, rather than courier services—to import
merchandise into the United States. Some benefits to be gained are:

• Ease in clearing shipments through CBP. The duties on parcels valued at $2,000 or less are collected by the letter carrier who delivers the parcel to the addressee (see note on page 16),
• Savings on shipping charges: smaller, low-valued packages can often be sent less expensively through the mails,
• No formal entry required on duty-free merchandise not exceeding $2,000 in value,
• No need to clear shipments personally if under $2,000 in value.

all parcel post packages must have a CBP declaration securely attached to the outer wrapping giving an accurate description
of the contents and their value. This declaration can be obtained at post offices worldwide.

Each mail parcel containing an invoice or statement of value should be marked on
the outer wrapper, on the address side, “Invoice enclosed.” If the invoice or statement
cannot be conveniently enclosed within the sealed parcel, it may be securely attached to
the parcel. Failure to comply with any of these requirements will delay clearance of the
shipment through CBP.

Packages other than parcel post—for example, letter-class mail, commercial
papers, printed matter, or samples of merchandise—must bear on the address side a label,
Form C1, provided by the Universal Post Union, or the endorsement “May be opened for
customs purposes before delivery,” or similar words definitely waiving the privacy of the
seal and indicating that CBP officers may open the parcel without recourse to the addressee. Parcels not labeled or endorsed in
this manner and found to contain prohibited merchandise, or containing merchandise that is subject to duty or tax, are subject to forfeiture.

A CBP officer prepares the CBP entry (a form) for mail importations not
exceeding $2,000 in value, and the letter carrier at the destination delivers the parcel to
the addressee upon payment of duty.

A CBP processing fee of $5.00 will be assessed on each item of dutiable mail for
which a CBP officer prepares documentation. The postal carrier will collect this nominal
fee on all dutiable or taxable mail along with the duty owed. There is also a postal fee (in
addition to prepaid postage) authorized by international postal conventions and
agreements as partial reimbursement to the Postal Service for its extra work in clearing
packages through CBP and delivering them.

NOTE: The following general exceptions apply to the $2,000 limit:
• Fur, articles, of
• Headwear and hat braids
• Leather articles
• Rawhides and skins
The limit for these articles is $250

Transportation Of Merchandise In Bond
Not all merchandise imported into the United States and intended for domestic
commerce is entered at the port where it arrives. The importer may prefer to enter the
goods at a different location in the United States, in which case the merchandise will
have to be further transported to that location. In order to protect United States revenue
in these cases, the merchandise must travel in a bonded status from the port of arrival to
the intended port of entry. This process is referred to as
traveling under Immediate Transportation procedures and is accomplished by the execution of CBP Form 7512
(Transportation Entry and Manifest of Goods Subject to CBP Inspection and Permit).
The merchandise is then placed with a carrier who accepts it under its bond for
transportation to the intended destination, where the normal merchandise entry process
will occur.

3. Right To Make Entry
Entry By Importer

Merchandise arriving in the United States by commercial carrier must be entered
by the owner, purchaser, his or her authorized regular employee, or by the licensed
customs broker designated by the owner, purchaser, or consignee. U.S. CBP officers and
employees are not authorized to act as agents for importers or forwarders of imported
merchandise, although they may give all reasonable advice and assistance to
inexperienced importers.
Customs brokers are the only persons who are authorized by the tariff laws of the
United States to act as agents for importers in the transaction of their customs business.
Customs brokers are private individuals or firms licensed by CBP to prepare and file the
necessary customs entries, arrange for the payment of duties found due, take steps to
effect the release of the goods in CBP custody, and otherwise represent their principals in
customs matters. The fees charged for these services may vary according to the customs
broker and the extent of services performed.

Examination of goods and documents is necessary to determine, among other
• The value of the goods for customs purposes and their dutiable status,
• Whether the goods must be marked with their country of origin or require special marking or labeling. If so, whether they are marked in the manner required,
• Whether the shipment contains prohibited articles,
• Whether the goods are correctly invoiced,
• Whether the goods are in excess of the invoiced quantities or a shortage exists,
• Whether the shipment contains illegal narcotics.

General Questions for All Transactions:
1. If you have not retained an expert (e.g., lawyer, customs broker, accountant, or
customs consultant) to assist you in complying with CBP requirements, do you
have access to the CBP Regulations (Title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations), the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (generally referred to as the Harmonized Tariff Schedule), and CBPBulletin and Decisions? (All three are
available from the Superintendent of Documents, Tel. 202.512.1800.)
3. If you use an expert to help you comply with CBP requirements, have you
discussed your importations in advance with that person, and have you provided
him or her with complete, accurate information about the import transaction(s)?
4. Are identical transactions or merchandise handled differently at different ports or
CBP offices within the same port? If so, have you brought this fact to CBP officials’ attention?

Merchandise Description & Tariff Classification:
Do you know what you ordered, where it was made, and what it is made of?

1. Have you provided a complete, accurate description of your merchandise to CBP in accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1481? (Also, see 19 CFR 141.87 and 19 CFR 141.89 for special merchandise description requirements.)
2. Have you provided CBP with the correct tariff classification of your merchandise in accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1484?
3. Have you obtained a CBP ruling regarding the description of your merchandise or its tariff classification (see 19 CFR Part 177)? If so, have you followed the ruling and apprised appropriate CBP officials of those facts (i.e., of the ruling and your compliance with it)?
4. Where merchandise description or tariff classification information is not immediately available, have you established a reliable procedure for obtaining it and providing it to CBP?
5. Have you participated in a CBP classification of your merchandise in order to get it properly described and classified?
6. Have you consulted the tariff schedules, CBP informed compliance publications, court cases or CBP rulings to help you properly describe and classify the merchandise?
7. Have you consulted with an expert (e.g., lawyer, customs broker, accountant, customs consultant) to assist in the description and/or classification of the merchandise?
8. If you are claiming a conditionally free or special tariff classification or provision for your merchandise (e.g., GSP, HTS Item 9802, NAFTA), how have you verified that the merchandise qualifies for such status? Do you have the documentation necessary to support the claim? If making a NAFTA preference claim, do you have a NAFTA certificate of origin in your possession?
9. Is the nature of your merchandise such that a laboratory analysis or other specialized procedure is advised for proper description and classification?
10. Have you developed reliable procedures to maintain and produce the required entry documentation and supporting information?

Do you know the “price actually paid or payable” for your merchandise?

1. Have you provided CBP with a proper declared value for your merchandise in accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1484 and 19 U.S.C. 1401a?
2. Have you obtained a CBP ruling regarding valuation of the merchandise (see 19 CFR Part 177)? Can you establish that you followed the ruling reliably? Have you brought those facts to the attention of CBP?
2. Have you consulted the CBP valuation laws and regulations, CBP Valuation Encyclopedia, CBP informed compliance publications, court cases and CBP rulings to assist you in valuing merchandise?
4. If you purchased the merchandise from a “related” seller, have you reported that fact upon entry? Have you assured that the value reported to CBP meets one of the “related party” tests?
5. Have you assured that all legally required costs or payments associated with the imported merchandise (assists, commissions, indirect payments or rebates, royalties, etc.) have been reported to CBP?
6. If you are declaring a value based upon a transaction in which you were/are not the buyer, have you substantiated that the transaction is a bona fide “sale at arm’s length” and that the merchandise was clearly destined to the United States at the time of sale?
7. If you are claiming a conditionally free or special tariff classification or provision for your merchandise (GSP, HTS Item 9802, NAFTA), have you reported the required value information and obtained the documentation necessary to support the claim?
8. Have you produced the required entry documentation and supporting information?

Country of Origin/Marking/Quota:
Have you ascertained the correct country of origin for the imported merchandise?

1. Have you reported the correct country of origin on CBP entry documents?
2. Have you assured that the merchandise is properly marked upon entry with the correct country of origin (if required) in accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1304 and any other applicable special marking requirements (watches, gold, textile labeling, etc)?
3. Have you obtained a CBP ruling regarding the proper marking and country of origin of the merchandise (see 19 CFR Part 177)? If so, have you followed the ruling and brought that fact to the attention of CBP?
4. Have you consulted with a customs expert regarding the correct country-of-origin/proper marking of your merchandise?
5. Have you apprised your foreign supplier of CBP country-of-origin marking requirements prior to importation of your merchandise?
6. If you are claiming a change in the origin of the merchandise or claiming that the goods are of U.S. origin, have you taken required measures to substantiate your claim (e.g., do you have U.S. milling certificates or manufacturers’ affidavits attesting to production in the United States)?
7. If importing textiles or apparel, have you ascertained the correct country of origin in accordance with 19 U.S.C. 3592 (Section 334, P.L. 103-465) and assured yourself that no illegal transshipment or false or fraudulent practices were involved?
8. Do you know how your goods are made, from raw materials to finished goods, by whom and where?
9. Have you ensured that the quota category is correct?
10. Have you checked the Status Report on Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), issued by CBP, to determine if your goods are subject to a quota category with “part” categories?
11. Have you obtained correct visas for those goods subject to visa categories?
12. For textile articles, have you prepared a proper country declaration for each entry, i.e., a single country declaration (if w
holly obtained/produced) or a multi-country declaration (if raw materials from one country were transformed into goods in a
13. Can you produce all entry documentation and supporting information, including certificates of origin, if CBP requires you to do so?

Intellectual Property Rights
Have you determined whether your merchandise or its packaging use any trademarks or copyrighted material or are patented? If so, can you establish that you have a legal right to import those items into and/or use them in the United States?


1. Have you assured that your merchandise complies with other agencies’ requirements (e.g., FDA, EPA, DOT, CPSC, FTC, Agriculture, etc.) and obtained licenses or permits, if required, from them?
2. Are your goods subject to a Commerce Department dumping or countervailing-duty investigation or determination? If so, have you complied with CBP reporting requirements of this fact (e.g., 19 CFR 141.61)?
3. Is your merchandise subject to quota/visa requirements? If so, have you provided a correct visa for the goods upon entry?
4. Have you assured that you have the right to make entry under the CBP Regulations?
5. Have you filed the correct type of CBP entry (e.g., TIB, T&E, consumption entry, mail entry)?

In order to meet the reasonable care standard when importing textile or apparel products and when dealing with a party named on this list, an importer should consider the following questions to ensure that the documentation, packaging and labeling are accurate regarding country-of-origin considerations. This list is illustrative, not exhaustive:

1. Has the importer had a prior relationship with the named party?
2. Has the importer had any seizures or detentions of textile or apparel products that were directly or indirectly produced, supplied, or transported by the named party?
3. Has the importer visited the company’s premises to ascertain that the company actually has the capacity to produce the merchandise?
4. Where a claim of an origin-conferring process is made in accordance with 19 CFR 102.21, has the importer ascertained that the named party actually performed that process?
5. Is the named party really operating from the country that he or she claims on the documentation, packaging or labeling?
6. Have quotas for the imported merchandise closed, or are they near closing, from the main producer countries for this commodity?
7. Does the country have a dubious or questionable history regarding this commodity?
8. Have you questioned your supplier about the product’s origin?
9. If the importation is accompanied by a visa, permit or license, has the importer verified with the supplier or manufacturer that the document is of valid, legitimate origin? Has the importer examined that document for any irregularities that would call its authenticity into question?

Compliance Measurement
is the primary tool CBP uses to assess the accuracy of port-of-entry transactions and to determine the compliance rate for all commercial importations. By using statistical sampling methods, a valid compliance level for all commercial importations can be obtained. One of CBP’s goals is to assure that at least 99 percent of the import revenues legally owed the United States government are collected. Cargo is sampled for compliance with international trade laws at the port of entry, at the time of entry into the United States. Importers should be aware that misclassification of merchandise, among other violations, will be detected through the compliance measurement process.

Commercial Invoice
A commercial invoice, signed by the seller or shipper, or his agent, is acceptable for CBP purposes if it is prepared in accordance with Section 141.86 through 141.89 of the CBP Regulations, and in the manner customary for a commercial transaction involving goods of the kind covered by the invoice.

The invoice must provide the following information, as required by the Tariff Act:
• The port of entry to which the merchandise is destined,
• If merchandise is sold or agreed to be sold, the time, place, and names of buyer and seller; if consigned, the time and origin of shipment, and names of shipper and receiver,
• A detailed description of the merchandise, including the name by which each item is known, the grade or quality, and the marks, numbers, and symbols under which it is sold by the seller or manufacturer to the trade in the country of exportation, together with the marks and numbers of the packages in which the merchandise is packed,
• The quantities in weights and measures,
• If sold or agreed to be sold, the purchase price of each item in the currency of the sale,
• If the merchandise is shipped for consignment, the value of each item in the currency in which the transactions are usually made, or, in the absence of such value, the price in such currency that the manufacturer, seller, shipper, or owner would have received, or was willing to receive, for such merchandise if sold in the ordinary course of trade and in the usual wholesale quantities in the country of exportation,
• The kind of currency,
• All charges upon the merchandise, itemized by name and amount including freight, insurance, commission, cases, containers, coverings, and cost of packing; and, if not included above, all charges, costs, and expenses incurred in bringing the merchandise from alongside the carrier at the port of exportation in the country of exportation and placing it alongside the carrier at the first U.S. port of entry. The cost of packing, cases, containers, and inland freight to the port of exportation need not be itemized by amount if included in the invoice price and so identified. Where the required information does not appear on the invoice as originally prepared, it shall be shown on an attachment to the invoice,
• All rebates, drawbacks, and bounties, separately itemized, allowed upon the exportation of the merchandise,
• The country of origin,
• All goods or services furnished for the production of the merchandise not included in the invoice price.

If the invoice or entry does not disclose the weight, gauge, or measure of the merchandise necessary to ascertain duties, the importer of record shall pay expenses incurred to obtain this information prior to the release of the merchandise from CBP custody.

Rates of Exchange.
In general, no rate(s) of exchange may be used to convert foreign currency for customs purposes other than the rate(s) proclaimed or certified in 31 U.S.C. 5151. For merchandise imported from a country having a currency for which two or more rates of exchange have been certified by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the invoice will show the exchange rate or rates used in converting the United States dollars received for the merchandise into the foreign currency and the percentage of each rate if two or more rates are used. If a rate or combination of rates used to pay costs, charges, or expenses is different from those used to pay for the merchandise, state that rate or combination of rates separately. When dollars have not been converted at the time the invoice is prepared, state that fact on the invoice, in which case the invoice shall also state the rate or combination of rates at which the dollars will be converted, or that it is not known what rate or rates will be used. Rates of exchange are not required for merchandise unconditionally free of duty or subject only to a specific rate of duty not depending on value.

Special invoices are required for some merchandise. See 19 CFR 141.89

The invoice and all attachments must be in the English language, or shall be
accompanied by an accurate English translation.

The fundamental rule is that both the shipper and importer must furnish CBP officers with all pertinent information with respect to each import transaction to assist CBP officers in determining the tariff status of the goods. Examples of omissions and inaccuracies to be avoided are:
• The shipper assumes that a commission, royalty, or other charge against the goods is a so-called “nondutiable” item and omits it from the invoice.
• A foreign shipper who purchases goods and sells them to a United States importer at a delivered price shows on the invoice the cost of the goods to him instead of the delivered price.
• A foreign shipper manufactures goods partly with the use of materials supplied by the United States importer, but invoices the goods at the actual cost to the manufacturer without including the value of the materials supplied by the importer.
• The foreign manufacturer ships replacement goods to his customer in the United States and invoices the goods at the net price without showing the full price less the allowance for defective goods previously shipped and returned.
• A foreign shipper who sells goods at list price, less a discount, invoices them at the net price, and fails to show the discount.
• A foreign shipper sells goods at a delivered price but invoices them at a price f.o.b. the place of shipment and omits the subsequent charges.
• A foreign shipper indicates in the invoice that the importer is the purchaser, whereas he is in fact either an agent who is receiving a commission for selling the goods or a party who will receive part of the proceeds of the sale of the goods sold for the joint account of the shipper and consignee.
• Invoice descriptions are vague, listing only parts of numbers, truncated or coded descriptions, or lumping various articles together as one when several distinct items are included.

Dutiable Status Of Goods
Rates Of Duty
All goods imported into the United States are subject to duty or duty-free entry in accordance with their classification under the applicable items in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States. An annotated loose-leaf edition of the tariff schedule may be purchased from the U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402. (See 19 U.S.C. 1202.)
When goods are dutiable, ad valorem, specific, or compound rates may be assessed. An ad valorem rate, which is the type of rate most often applied, is a percentage of the value of the merchandise, such as five percent ad valorem. A specific rate is a specified amount per unit of weight or other quantity, such as 5.9 cents per dozen. A compound rate is a combination of both an ad valorem rate and a specific rate, such as 0.7 cents per kilo plus 10 percent ad valorem.

Free of Duty or Dutiable
Rates of duty for imported merchandise may vary depending upon the country of origin. Most merchandise is dutiable under the … rates in the General column under column 1 of the tariff schedule. Merchandise from countries to which these rates have not been extended is dutiable at the full or “statutory” rates in column 2 of the tariff schedule. Free rates are provided for many subheadings in columns 1 and 2 of the tariff schedule. Duty-free status is also available under various conditional exemptions which are reflected in the Special column under column 1 of the tariff schedule. It is the importer’s burden to show eligibility for a conditional exemption from duty.

… Other exemptions are found under the subheadings in Chapter 98 of the tariff schedule. These subheadings include, among other provisions, certain personal exemptions, exemptions for articles for scientific or other institutional purposes, and exemptions for returned American goods.

An exporter, importer, or other interested party may get advance information on any matter affecting the dutiable status of merchandise by writing to the port director where the merchandise will be entered or to:

Director, National Commodity Specialist Division
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
One Penn Plaza, 11th Floor
New York, New York 10119
or to:
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Attention: Office of Regulations and Rulings
Washington, DC 20229

Under 19 CFR part 177, the importing public may obtain a binding ruling, which can be relied upon for placing or accepting orders or for making other business determinations, under Chapters 1 through 97 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule or by writing to:

National Commodity Specialist Division
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
One Penn Plaza, 11th Floor
New York, New York 10119

The ruling will be binding at all ports of entry unless revoked by the CBP Office of Regulations and Rulings.

The following information is required in ruling requests:
• The names, addresses and other identifying information of all interested parties (if known) and the manufacturer ID code (if known),
• The name(s) of the port(s) at which the merchandise will be entered (if known),
• A description of the transaction; for example, a prospective importation of (merchandise) from (country),
• A statement that there are, to the importer’s knowledge, no issues on the commodity pending before CBP or any court, and
• A statement as to whether classification advice has previously been sought from a CBP officer, and if so, from whom, and what advice was rendered, if any.

A request for a tariff classification should include the following information:

• A complete description of the goods. Send samples, if practical, sketches, diagrams, or other illustrative material that will be useful in supplementing the written description,
• Cost breakdowns of component materials and their respective quantities shown in percentages, if possible,
• A description of the principal use of the goods, as a class or kind of merchandise, in the United States,
• Information as to commercial, scientific or common designations, as may be applicable, and
• Any other information that may be pertinent or required for the purpose of tariff classification.

Classification and valuation, whether or not they are pertinent because an ad valorem rate of duty applies, must be provided by commercial importers when an entry is filed. In addition, classifications under the statistical suffixes of the tariff schedules must also be furnished even though this information is not pertinent to dutiable status. Accordingly, classification is initially the responsibility of an importer, customs broker or other person preparing the entry papers.

Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States
In Sections I through XXI, products are classifiable (1) under items or descriptions which name them, known as an eo nomine provision; (2) under provisions of general description; (3) under provisions which identify them by component material; or (4) under provisions which encompass merchandise in accordance with its actual or principal use. When two or more provisions seem to cover the same merchandise, the prevailing provision is determined in accordance with the legal notes and the General Rules of Interpretation for the tariff schedule. The last section, Section XXII, covers certain exceptions from duty and special statutory provisions.

Conversion of Currency
The conversion of foreign currency for customs purposes must be made in accordance with the provisions of 31 U.S.C. 5151. This section states that CBP is to use rates of exchange determined and certified by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

For CBP purposes, the date of exportation of the goods is the date used to determine the applicable certified rate of exchange. This remains true even though a different rate may have been used in payment of the goods.

The entry filer is responsible for using reasonable care to value imported merchandise and provide any other information necessary to enable the CBP officer to properly assess the duty and determine whether any other applicable legal requirement is met.

Generally, the customs value of all merchandise exported to the United States will be the transaction value for the goods.

The transaction value of imported merchandise is the price actually paid plus amounts for the following items if they are not included in the price:

• The packing costs incurred by the buyer,
• Any selling commission incurred by the buyer,
• The value of any assist,
• Any royalty or license fee that the buyer is required to pay as a condition of the sale,
• The proceeds, accruing to the seller, of any subsequent resale, disposal, or use of the imported merchandise.

The amounts for the above items are added only to the extent that each is not included in the price actually paid or payable and information is available to establish the accuracy of the amount. If sufficient information is not available, then the transaction value cannot be determined and the next basis of value, in order of precedence, must be considered for appraisement.

The amounts to be excluded from transaction value are as follows:
• The cost, charges, or expenses incurred for transportation, insurance, and related services incident to the international shipment of the goods from the country of exportation to the place of importation in the United States.
• Any reasonable cost or charges incurred for:
1. Constructing, erecting, assembling, maintaining, or providing technical assistance with respect to the goods after importation into the United States, or
2. Transporting the goods after importation.
• The customs duties and other federal taxes, including any federal excise tax, for which sellers in the United States are ordinarily liable.

There are two basic types of rules of origin: non-preferential and preferential <-non-preferential applies to Austria
. Non-preferential rules generally apply in the absence of bilateral or multilateral trade agreements. Preferential rules are applied to merchandise to determine its eligibility for special treatment under various trade agreements or special legislation such as the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), or the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). There are also rules of origin for textile and apparel articles; these are provided for by statute.

Country-Of-Origin Marking
U.S. customs laws require that each article produced abroad and imported into the United States be marked with the English name of the country of origin to indicate to the ultimate purchaser in the United States what country the article was manufactured or produced in. These laws also require that marking be located in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly and permanently as the nature of the article permits. Articles that are otherwise specifically exempted from individual marking are also an exception to this rule.

If the article or its container, when the container and not the article must be Marked is not properly marked at the time of importation, a marking duty equal to 10 percent of the article’s customs value will be assessed . When an article or its container is required to be marked with the country of origin, the marking is considered sufficiently permanent if it will remain on the article or container until it reaches the ultimate purchaser.

Marking Not Required:
The following articles and classes or kinds of articles are not required to be marked to indicate country of origin:
Art, works of,
Articles classified subheads 9810.00.15, 9810.00.25, 9810.00.40, and 9810.00.45, HTSUS,
Hides, raw,
Skins, fur, dressed or dyed,
Skins, raw fur,
Articles incapable of being marked,
Articles that cannot be marked prior to shipment to the United States without injury,
Articles that cannot be marked prior to shipment to the United States except at a cost economically prohibitive of their importation,
Articles for which marking of the containers will reasonably indicate their country of origin,
Crude substances,
Articles produced more than 20 years prior to their importation into the United States,
Articles entered or withdrawn from warehouse for immediate exportation or for transportation and exportation.

Although the articles themselves are exempted from marking to indicate country of origin, the outermost containers in which they ordinarily reach the ultimate purchaser in the United States must be marked to show the articles’ country of origin. When marking an article’s container will reasonably indicate its country of origin, the article itself may be exempt from such marking. This exemption applies only when the article reaches the ultimate purchaser in an unopened container.

User Fees
The merchandise processing fee (MPF) is 0.21 percent ad valorem on formally-entered imported merchandise (generally entries valued over $2,000), subject to a minimum fee of $25 per entry and a maximum fee of $485 per entry. On informal entries (those valued at less than $2,000), the MPFs are: $2 for automated entries, $6 for manual entries not prepared by CBP, and $9 for manual entries that are prepared by CBP.

The harbor maintenance fee is an ad valorem fee assessed on port use associated with imports, admissions into foreign trades zones, domestic shipments, and passenger transportations. The fee is assessed only at ports that benefit from the expenditure of funds by the Army Corps of Engineers for maintaining and improving the port trade zones. The fee is 0.125 percent of the value of the cargo and is paid quarterly, except for imports, which are paid at the time of entry

40. Fur.
The Fur Products Labeling Act requires that any imported article of wearing apparel made in whole or in part of fur or used fur, with the exception of articles made of new fur whose cost or manufacturer’s selling price does not exceed $7, be tagged, labeled, or otherwise clearly marked to show the following information:
• The name of the manufacturer or importer. If the importer has a registered identification number, that number may be used instead of the individual’s name.
• The name(s) of the animal or animals that produced the fur, as set forth in the Fur Products Name Guide and as determined under the FTC’s? rules and regulations.
• That the fur product contains used or damaged fur when such is the fact.
• That the fur product is bleached, dyed, or otherwise artificially colored when such is the fact.
• That the fur product is composed in whole or in substantial part of paws, tails, bellies, or waste fur when such is the fact.
• The country of origin of any imported furs incorporated in the fur product.

A commercial invoice is required for each shipment of furs or fur products exceeding $500 in value and must contain the information noted in Chapter 10 (“Commercial Invoices”).

141.83 Type of invoice required

Commercial invoice
(1) A commercial invoice shall be filed for each shipment of merchandise not exempted by paragraph (d) of this section. The commercial invoice shall be prepared in the manner customary in the trade, contain the information required by Secs. 141.86 through 141.89, and substantiate the statistical information required by Sec. 141.61(e) to be given on the entry, entry summary, or withdrawal documentation.

(2) The port director may accept a copy of a required commercial invoice in place of the original. A copy, other than a photostatic or photographic copy, shall contain a declaration by the foreign seller, the shipper, or the importer that it is a true copy.

(d) Commercial invoice not required. A commercial invoice shall not be required in connection with the filing of the entry, entry summary, or withdrawal documentation for merchandise listed in this paragraph. The importer, however, shall present any invoice, memorandum invoice, or bill pertaining to the merchandise which may be in his possession or available to him. If no invoice or bill is available, a pro forma (or substitute) invoice, as provided for in Sec. 141.85, shall be filed, and shall contain information adequate for the examination of merchandise and the determination of duties, and information and documentation which verify the information required for statistical purposes by Sec. 141.61(e). The merchandise subject to the foregoing requirements is as follows:

(2) Merchandise not intended for sale or any commercial use in its imported condition or any other form, and not brought in on commission for any person other than the importer.

NOTE: The Customs Service waived the requirement for a special invoice on March 1, 1982. However, it may still be used. If a commercial invoice is used, it must be signed by the seller and shipper or their agents.

141.89 Additional Information for certain classes of merchandise. (a) Invoices for the following classes of merchandise, classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), shall set forth the additional information specified: [T.D. 75-42, 75-239, 78-53, 83-251, 84-149.]
Fur products and furs
(T.D. 53064)—(1) Name or names (as set forth in the Fur Products Name Guide (16 CFR 301.0) of the animal or animals that produced the fur, and such qualifying statements as may be required pursuant to § 7(c) of the Fur Products Labeling Act (15 U.S.C. 69e(c)); (2) A statement that the fur product contains or is composed of used fur, when such is the fact; (3) A statement that the fur product contains or is composed of bleached, dyed, or otherwise artificially colored fur, when such is the fact; (4) A statement that the fur product is composed in whole or in substantial part of paws, tails, bellies, or waste fur, when such is the fact; (5) Name and address of the manufacturer of the fur product; (6) Name of the country of origin of the furs or those contained in the fur product.

Hats or headgear
—(1) If classifiable under subheading 6502.00.40 or 6502.00.60, HTSUS—Statement as to whether or not the article has been bleached or colored; (2) If classifiable under subheading 6502.00.20 through 6502.00.60 or 6504.00.30 through 6504.00.90, HTSUS—Statement as to whether or not the article is sewed or not sewed, exclusive of any ornamentation or trimming.

Wood products
—(1) Wood sawed or chipped lengthwise, sliced or peeled, whether or not planed, sanded, or finger-jointed, of a thickness exceeding 6 mm (lumber), classifiable under Chapter 44 heading 4407, HTSUS, and wood continuously shaped along any of its edges or faces, whether or not planed, sanded or finger-jointed; coniferous: Subheading 4409.10.90 and nonconiferous: Subheading 4409.20.90, HTSUS, and dutiable on the basis of cubic meters—Quantity in cubic meter (m) before dressing; (2) fiberboard of wood or other ligneous materials whether or not bonded with resins or other organic substances, under Chapter 44, Heading 4411, HTSUS, and classifiable according to its density-density in grams per cubic centimeter (cm); (3) plywood consisting solely of sheets of wood, classifiable under Chapter 44, Subheading 4412.11,4412.12, and 4412.19, HTSUS, and classifiable according to the thickness of the wood sheets-thickness of each ply in millimeter (mm);


“SEC. 402, VALUE. [19 U.S.C. 1401a]
“(a) IN GENERAL—(1) Except as otherwise specifically provided for in this Act, imported merchandise shall be appraised, for the purposes of this Act, on the basis of the following:

“(A) The transaction value provided for under subsection (b).

“(b) TRANSACTION VALUE OF IMPORTED MERCHANDISE.–(1) The transaction value of imported merchandise is the price actually paid or payable for the merchandise when sold for exportation to the United States, plus amounts equal to—
“(A) The packing costs incurred by the buyer with respect to the imported merchandise;
“(B) Any selling commission incurred by the buyer with respect to the imported merchandise;
“(C) The value, apportioned as appropriate, of any assist;
“(D) Any royalty or license fee related to the imported merchandise that the buyer is required to pay directly or indirectly, as a condition of the sale of the imported merchandise for exportation to the United States; and
“(E) The proceeds of any subsequent resale, disposal, or use of the imported merchandise that accrue, directly or indirectly, to the seller.


Determining Duty Rates

The Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) provides duty rates for virtually every item that exists. The HTS is a reference manual that is the size of an unabridged dictionary (3678 pages):

Experts spend years learning how to properly classify an item in order to determine its correct duty rate. For instance, you might want to know the rate of duty of a wool suit. A classification specialist will need to know, does it have darts? Did the wool come from Israel or another country that qualifies for duty-free treatment for certain of its products? Where was the suit assembled, does it have any synthetic fibers in the lining?

The U.S. International Trade Commission-Tariff Database, is an interactive data base that will enable you to get an approximate idea of the duty rate for a particular product. Please be aware that the duty rate you request is only as good as the information you provide. The actual duty rate of the item you import may not be what you think it should be as a result of your research.

CBP makes the final determination of what the correct rate of duty is, not the importer. For very specific duty information on a particular item you may request a Binding Ruling. You may also receive guidance by calling your local CBP port.


Importing personal and commercial original works of art, paintings, drawings, pastels, collages, decorative plaques, lithographs, original prints and sculptures

Original works of art (i.e. paintings, drawings, pastels, collages and decorative plaques) with or without their frames are duty-free under Chapter 97 in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS).

These original works of art, whether ancient or modern, must be executed entirely by hand.

If entering works of art commercially at a land border and the value is under $2500, use CBP Form CF-7523. If the item is valued over $2500 formal entry through a Customs Broker and ACE manifest is required. Personal importation can be done by an oral declaration at a Port of Entry.

For more information on duty-free treatment for original works of art under Chapter 97, please reference the HTS and our Informed Compliance Publication for Original Works of Art:


Harmonized Tariff Schedule

Chapters of interest:
5 Products of animal origin, not elsewhere specified or included – does not pertain if the masks horns are synthetic
41 Raw hides and skins (other than furskins) and leather – Notes: 1. This chapter does not cover: (c) Hides or skins, with the hair or wool on, raw, tanned or dressed (chapter 43); the following are, however, to be classified in chapter 41, namely, raw hides and skins with the hair or wool on, of bovine animals (including buffalo), of equine animals, of sheep or lambs (except Astrakhan, Broadtail, Caracul, Persian or similar lambs, Indian, Chinese, Mongolian or Tibetan lambs), of goats or kids (except Yemen, Mongolian or Tibetan goats and kids), of swine (including peccary), of chamois, of gazelle, of camels (including dromedaries), of reindeer, of elk, of deer, of roebucks or of dogs.
42 Articles of leather; saddlery and harness; travel goods, handbags and similar containers; articles of animal gut (other than silkworm gut) – Notes: 2. This chapter does not cover: (b) Articles of apparel or clothing accessories (except gloves, mittens and mitts), lined with furskin or artificial fur or to which furskin or artificial fur is attached on the outside, except as mere trimming (heading 4303 or 4304);
43 Furskins and artificial fur; manufactures thereof – Because the Krampus mask is “folk art” I do not believe that Chapter 43 applies. If it does then the duty should apply only to the original cost of the fur materials.
44 Wood and articles of wood; wood charcoal – Notes: 1. This chapter does not cover: (r) Articles of chapter 97 (for example, works of art).
65 Headgear and parts thereof – does not apply to Krampus masks
97 Works of art, collector’ pieces, and antiques

From Chapter 97
Whenever an article is entered for sale under heading 9706, and thereafter determined to be not over 100 years of age, a duty of 6.6 percent ad valorem for articles subject to column 1-general treatment, free of duty for goods originating in the territory of Canada or a duty of 25 percent ad valorem for articles subject to column 2 treatment shall be assessed thereon in addition to any other duty or penalty imposed on such article under the tariff schedule.

Heading.subheading: 9703.00.00
Statutory suffix: 0
Article Description: Original Sculptures and statuary, in any material
Unit of Quantity: x
Rates of Duty:
General (col1): Free
(Col2): Free

From Chapter 43
Heading.subheading: 4303.10.00
Article Description: Articles of apparel and clothing accessories
Rates of Duty:
General (col1): 4%
(Col2): 50%

Because the Krampus mask is “folk art” I do not believe that Chapter 43 applies. If it does then the duty should apply only to the original cost of the fur materials.

From Chapter 41
It seems that there are 2 basic types here – tanned and without hair, or untanned and with hair. Obviously this should be the untanned with hair, which is heading 4103. I still believe that the Krampus mask falls under “Art – Any Material” (Chap 97):
Heading.subheading: 4103.90.11
Statutory Suffix: 40
Article Description: of Goats or kids
Rates of Duty: pcs
General (col1): FREE
(Col2): FREE

Heading.subheading: 4103.90.12
Statutory Suffix: 00
Article Description: of Goats or kids – Vegetable pre tanned
Rates of Duty: pcs
General (col1): FREE
(Col2): 10%

Heading.subheading: 4103.90.13
Statutory Suffix: 00
Article Description: of Goats or kids – other
Rates of Duty: pcs
General (col1): 3.7%
(Col2): 25%

Heading.subheading: 4103.90.20
Statutory Suffix: 00
Article Description: of Goats or kids – Vegetable pre tanned
Rates of Duty: kg
General (col1): 3.3%
(Col2): 25%

From Chapter 5
Notes 1. This chapter does not cover:
(b) Hides or skins (including furskins) other than goods of heading 0505 and parings and similar waste of raw hides or skins of heading 0511 (chapter 41 or 43);
(c) Animal textile materials, other than horsehair and horsehair waste (section XI)

0506, 0507 pertains to animal horns in case your krampus mask is not using synthetic horns.

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