Questions and answers about Assists – Tooling

  • Assist duties

    Question: We are a US company sending tools and tooling to our related party foreign manufacturing facility for use in the production of a finished good that will be exported to our end customer in the US.  The Incoterms are EXW from the foreign facility direct to the end customer; the end customer will be […]

  • Test Equipment

    Question: If we send test equipment to an unrelated foreign 3rd party to test PCBs and the tested PCBs are sent to our foreign manufacturing facility to be used in the production of the final product for export to the US on an Intercompany PO; would the test equipment be considered an assist? Answer 1: […]

  • Related Parties and Assists

    Question: We are a US company setting up a related party foreign manufacturing facility.  If we send tools, tooling, test equipment, etc., free of charge are they still considered assists when the finished product is exported to the US on an Intercompany PO?  Thank you, Answer 1: I mean, that’s the textbook definition of an […]

  • Tariff on Tooling Assist for HTS with Exclusion

    Question: If we are importing an SKU, or doing a PSC on an SKU that has a “Tooling Assist”, say $5000 and it is a small motor from China that has a 9903.88.03 penalty 301 code at 25%.  But the HTS 8501.10.4060 is “Excludible” from the 301 penalty but carries a 4% general tariff.  The […]

  • Tooling a Non-recurring Charge

    Question: A tooling charge is what is known as a non-recurring charge and is part of the dutiable Customs value of the products. Can anyone tell where in the regulations this is addressed? Answer 1: The specific regulation is 19 CFR 152.102(a) (“Assist”): CBP has also published the Informed Compliance Publications, “Customs Value” and […]

  • Eliminate duties

    Question: Our offshore manufacturing plant is bidding for a new program wherein some components  of that new program will be sold to our US plant. Then our US plant will export those components to our offshore plant for the new program. Can this be an assist? Is there a possibility of eliminating duties for the […]

  • Including Freight (Transportation) costs in Assist Value

    Question: Our company has equipment manufactured by a supplier / manufacturer in Mexico, which will then be imported into the United States.  Our company provides raw materials used in the manufacture of the equipment to the supplier / manufacturer in Mexico, free of charge. Due to fluctuating market pricing of the raw materials, we do […]

  • Freight Costs Added to Assist Value ?

    Question: Greetings, Our company provides certain raw materials, free of charge, to a manufacturer in Mexico, who will use the raw materials to manufacture finished items our company will import into the U.S.  As the pricing of the raw materials supplied to the manufacturer in Mexico fluctuates due to market pricing, we do not know […]

  • Assist?

    Question: My company is paying a supplier in China to build a tool to be used for the manufacture of metal furniture parts.  The tool will remain in China and the metal furniture parts will be imported into the US.  No assist because the tool was not provided to the manufacturer for free? Answer 1: […]

  • Dutiable Assist or not?

    Question: During the recent chip shortage, our company had to resort to the secondary market to keep production of an item made in Europe from stopping altogether.  We bought what we could find, paid exorbitant prices for them, split the extra cost with the manufacturer, then imported the finished goods to USA. On the one […]

  • Is Equipment provided to a MX Maquiladora considered an U.S. CBP ‘Assist’?

    Question: Scenario: U.S. Importer sends equipment to their MX Maquiladora.  Equipment is sent under “Consignment Manufacturing” agreement.  US IOR owns the inventory and machinery and equipment used by MX M., which provides manufacturing services in exchange for a processing fee. Is the equipment considered an U.S. Assist on future entries from the MX M.? Other […]


    QUESTION: An importer paid for a tool that the manufacturer used to produce the product that is imported into the US and therefore an assist. However, if the shipment is DDP, where the manufacturer is the IOR into the US, they use their own broker (different from the importer’s broker).  Is the tool still considered […]