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FAQ - What is the U.S. Import Duty for my product ?

Summary Answer

We get many questions about how to find out what the U.S. import duty is for products exported from Iraq to the USA. This FAQ will give you a step-by-step example of how to get general guidance on what the U.S. import duty may be.

However, U.S. Customs advises that the information provided is for GENERAL GUIDANCE ONLY, that you should get expert advice from a licensed customs broker, and, “ ... for very specific duty on a particular item you may request a Binding Ruling. You may also receive guidance by calling your local CBP Port.”

So … here are links to Classification sources at the Customs and Border Protection.

Ports directory – This link provides a list of 317 Customs ports of entry by state. There are many individuals who can assist with classification of your imports.

Customs Rulings – This is a searchable database that provides links to official Memoranda of Customs Rulings for individual products. The product you have may have been classified in this manner, saving a lot of time and effort.

eRulings – This is a link to obtain eRulings, or official Customs rulings by email. There is a list of information and paperwork that you need to get together and provide to Customs to request an eRuling. There is also an Optional Template for Electronic Request for Binding Ruling (28kb, doc) that you can download to your computer and use to request an eRuling.

About the Customs Rulings Online Search System (CROSS) http://rulings.customs.gov/

CROSS is a searchable database of CBP rulings that can be retrieved based on simple or complex search characteristics using keywords and Boolean operators. CROSS has the added functionality of CROSS referencing rulings from the initial search result set with their modified, revoked or referenced counterpart

If your question has not been answered in the above, then you can get a definitive answer by asking for a Ruling Letter.

Ruling Letter from the Customs and Border Protection Bureau.

Below are explanations from the CBP web site. Click on the links for further information.

What are Ruling Letters http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/trade/legal/rulings/ruling_letters.xml

It is in the interest of the sound administration of CBP and related laws that persons engaging in any transaction affected by those laws fully understand the consequences of that transaction prior to its consummation. For this reason, Customs and Border Protection will give full and careful consideration to written requests from importers and other interested parties for rulings or information setting forth, with respect to a specifically described transaction, a definitive interpretation of applicable law, or other appropriate information.

A ruling may be requested under Part 177 of the CBP Regulations (19 C.F.R. Part 177) by any person who, as an importer or exporter of merchandise, or otherwise, has a direct and demonstrable interest in the question or questions presented in the ruling request, or by the authorized agent of such person. A “person” in this context includes an individual, corporation, partnership, association, or other entity or group.

A request for a ruling should be in the form of a letter.

Requests for Valuation and Carrier rulings should be addressed to:
The Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection
Attention: Office of Regulations and Rulings
Washington, DC 20229.
(The Division and Branch in the Office of Regulations and Rulings to which the request should be directed may also be indicated, if known.)
Requests for tariff classification rulings should be addressed to:
Director, National Commodity Specialist Division
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Attn: CIE/Ruling Request
One Penn Plaza-10th Floor
New York, NY 10119
or to any service port office of CBP.

Requirements for Electronic Ruling Requests http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/trade/legal/rulings/eRulingRequirements.xml

(06/22/2009)The procedures under this rulings program apply to requests for binding classification rulings under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) and certain marking, origin, NAFTA and applicability of Trade Program rulings. Under the newly enhanced eRulings program, the importing community may submit an electronic request for a binding ruling by accessing the new eRulings Template. ( eRulings Template ) The template permits the online filing of an electronic binding ruling request directly to the National Commodity Specialist Division (NCSD) of the Office of Regulations and Rulings. The eRulings Template is reserved exclusively for the electronic submission of initial binding ruling requests to the NCSD in New York. Any questions or follow-up inquiries concerning electronic binding ruling requests must be made via telephone to Customs and Border Protection, Customs Information Exchange at (646) 733-3068, 3062 or 3071. Upon transmission of an electronic, eRuling, request the requester will receive an email, acknowledging their use of the template. If the transmission is received by the NCSD in good order, the requester will receive an email acknowledgement of receipt, complete with a binding ruling control number, within one business day. The official binding ruling response, complete with an electronic signature, will also be returned by email. Ruling requests that require a sample will be excluded from the program. Generally, the NCSD will issue all such rulings within 30 calendar days of the date of receipt. Some delay may occur if a laboratory report or consultation with another agency is required. Rulings that require referral to Headquarters, OR&R, will be issued by mail within 90 days of receipt. The ruling request must concern prospective shipments. A copy of the ruling or the ruling control number should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time the merchandise is imported. Please note that if for any reason you cannot meet the requirements for filing an electronic ruling request, you can still file for a binding ruling by mail. See above: What are Ruling Letters http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/trade/legal/rulings/ruling_letters.xml