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CBP Invites U.S. Exporters to Request Assistance on Tariff Classification and Customs Valuation Applied To U.S. Exports by Other Governments (June, 2015)

Date: 
Jun 18 2015

The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that it is accepting requests from U.S. exporters to obtain the agency's assistance to resolve matters concerning the tariff classification and customs valuation applied to U.S. exports by other customs administrations.

The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that it is accepting requests from U.S. exporters to obtain the agency's assistance to resolve matters concerning the tariff classification and customs valuation applied to U.S. exports by other customs administrations.  The goal is to strengthen communication and coordination among U.S.  exporters, CBP, other customs administrations, and the World Customs Organization (WCO) to facilitate international trade.  To view the CBP notice please click here.

In making classification and valuation determinations, CBP applies two international instruments: the Harmonized Commodity Description Coding System (HS), and the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Customs Valuation. As to the former, the WCO developed the HS, which is an internationally-standardized product nomenclature used to classify traded products by name and number, and is intended to ensure, at the technical level, a uniform approach to the interpretation and application of tariff classifications.  The United States is a contracting party to the HS Convention, along with 149 other countries and the European Union.  As to the latter, the WTO Valuation Agreement established a standard system for the valuation of imported goods.  The United States, along with other 159 members of the WTO, uses the Valuation Agreement as the basis for proper customs valuation method.  Both of these international instruments share a similar goal of establishing, at the technical level, a standard or uniform approach to the interpretation and application of tariff classification and valuation principles, respectively.

CBP emphasized that, at the meetings of the HS Committee and the Technical Committee on Customs Valuation (TCCV) at the WCO, the United States and other customs administrations participate and communicate regularly on issues concerning the interpretation and application of the HS and the WTO Agreement on Customs Valuation.   Historically, CBP has been able to reach a common understanding and interpretation of these instruments through discussions with other customs administrations at the WCO.   By providing opportunities to U.S. exporters to request assistance on these matters, CBP wishes to promote improved technical understanding among contracting parties and helps to foster uniformity in the interpretation and application of the HS Convention and WTO Valuation Agreement. 

U.S. exporters are invited to submit requests for assistance to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of International Trade, Regulations & Rulings, Attention: Commercial and Trade Facilitation Division, 90 K St., NE, 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20229-1177.  CBP stated that it would endeavor to provide an initial response to such requests within 60 days of their receipt.  Thereafter, it will consider the appropriate course of action, including, but not limited to, the initiation of consultations or dispute settlement at meetings of the HSC or TCCV at the WCO.  CBP stated that it would keep the inquirer or complainant informed regarding the progress achieved in resolving the matter.  Parties should specifically designate confidential treatment for submitted information that is considered confidential. 

 

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