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CORRECTION: Updated Requirements for Importers and Brokers Regarding U.S. and Foreign Goods Returned

Home News CORRECTION: Updated Requirements for Importers and Brokers Regarding U.S. and Foreign Goods Returned

This CSMS message is a correction of CSMS 49132200, issued August 20, 2021, which inadvertently referenced internal CBP guidance.

This message provides updated guidance concerning (a) importer and broker responsibilities in filing duty free claims under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) Subheading 9801.00.10, and (b) documents that CBP may request to support claims under Subheading 9801.00.10. This CSMS message supersedes guidance CBP previously issued via CSMS 17-000046 on January 30, 2017.


On April 25, 2016, a change to HTSUS Chapter 98 for U.S. goods returned went into effect. Specifically, section 904(b) of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, “Modification of Provisions Relating to Returned Property,” amended HTSUS Subheading 9801.00.10 to read as follows:

Products of the United States when returned after having been exported,
or any other products when returned within 3 years after having been exported, without having been advanced in value or improved in condition by any process of manufacture or other means while abroad

The expansion of Subheading 9801.00.10 includes all products exported from and returned to the United States, regardless of country of origin. For U.S. origin products, there is no time limit on filing a claim. For foreign origin products, there is a 3-year time limit. The changes to 9801.00.10 apply to U.S. or foreign articles returned to the United States and entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after April 25, 2016.


The importer has the burden to prove their claim for duty-free treatment under Subheading 9801.00.10. If the broker obligates themselves as the importer of record, they will assume the legal responsibility and burden to provide the required documents to substantiate the Subheading 9801.00.10 claim.

Customs Brokers act as agents for the importer and, as such, also have a duty of care in the filing of entry documents; however, the burden of proof is not on the broker (unless the broker is acting as importer of record) when requests are made to prove a claim for duty-free treatment under Subheading 9801.00.10. An example of the broker exercising responsible supervision and control for Subheading 9801.00.10 claims is providing proof of the broker’s communication with the importer on what is required for such claims. If it is found that the broker did not provide responsible supervision and control when preparing and filing the entry, then CBP may address that deficiency through the broker informed compliance process.

A proposed regulatory change will align 19 CFR 10.1 with TFTEA as referenced above. In the interim, for shipments valued over $2,500, the following documents may be requested from the importer to determine if the duty-free exemption under Subheading 9801.00.10 applies for either U.S. manufactured goods exported from and returned to the United States at any time, or foreign origin goods exported from the United States and returned within the 3-year time limit.

For full Cargo System Message, click here.

Source: U.S. Customs and Boarder Protection

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