U.S. Customs and Border Protection will provide technical assistance to help U.S. exporters resolve issues involving tariff classification and customs valuation treatment by other customs administrations.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published a General Notice (FR 34924) on June 18, 2015 concerning a new program under which they will provide technical assistance by subject matter experts at CBP to resolve matters involving tariff classification and customs valuation applied by other governments to U.S. exports. CBP announced it has direct responsibility for enhancing U.S. economic competitiveness through the enforcement of the laws of the United States and the fostering of lawful international trade.
To facilitate lawful international trade, CBP applies two major international instruments: The Harmonized Commodity Description Coding System (also known as the Harmonized System (HS)), and the Agreement on Implementation of Article VII of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994 (also known as the WTO Agreement on Customs Valuation). Both of these international instruments are intended to ensure that, at a technical level, a standard or uniform approach to the interpretation and application of HS tariff classification rules and customs valuation principles are applied worldwide by WTO member countries.
There have been instances and cases where, through erroneous or inappropriate application of customs valuation principles or misinterpretation of classification rules by customs services in countries of import of U.S. exports, such actions have acted as non-tariff trade barriers to U.S. goods.
These have often given rise to serious disputes and costly appeals. Under the new CBP program, technical assistance may be provided in appropriate cases by CBP’s Office of Regulations and Rulings through review of the technical issues and, if appropriate, bilateral consultations with the customs administration involved.
If the dispute cannot be resolved through bilateral consultations, CBP may undertake in concert with other appropriate U.S. agencies, dispute settlement at regular sessions of relevant Technical Committees of the WCO in Brussels.
For additional information about this program, please contact AmCham by e-mail at [email protected].
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U.S. Federal Register Notice of Opportunity and Procedures To Request Assistance on Tariff Classification and Customs Valuation Treatment by Other Customs Administrations Affecting United States Exports, Jun 18, 2015.
Posted: Jul 6, 2015; Updated: Jul 23, 2016