Questions and answers about Assists – Tooling

  • 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 […]


    QUESTION: We have a shipment with a piece of equipment that the importer has provided a component part free of charge to the manufacturer.  We need to declare the value of this component at the time of entry.  Does anyone have a basic Assist Letter that they can share?  What info should be on the […]

  • Foreign demurrage charges; Assist Valuation

    QUESTION: Determining the value of an assist, should demurrage charges incurred at a foreign port be considered part of the “transportation costs” to the place of production?  The Customs Valuation Encyclopedia is silent on this issue and we’re not finding any rulings that address this situation.  %%%%%%%%%% ANSWERS: Demurrage charges are incurred while the goods […]

  • Assist

    QUESTION: We have a scenario where we’ve had our foreign supplier purchase equipment to manufacture our products. We then reimburse our foreign supplier for that equipment. 1.  If we reimburse the foreign supplier for the equipment and allow the foreign manufacturer to maintain title to the equipment, is an assist applicable? (We reimbursed, but do […]


    QUESTION: If components are sent to a foreign supplier as an assist, and a portion of the components are scrapped, what proof is required by customs to prove they were actually scrapped so that duties are only paid on the usable amount? ************* Answers: In NL we require to also pay import duty on goods […]

  • Assist Question

    QUESTION: We purchased some electrical components and supplied them to a machine manufacturer in Asia. The components were incorporated into the final completed machine and we are now ready to import the machine to the US. What is the proper way to show the assist value on the commercial invoice ( we will put the […]

  • Assists

    QUESTION: We have some products that an domestic supplier is producing for us with a mold that they produced and we paid for. Our PO# is between us and the Domestic company.  They are going to an overseas company in China to have the products made and they are importing the goods into the U.S. […]


    QUESTION: We provide printed retail packaging to our overseas vendor. They manufacture,  package and ship to us in the US ready for retail sale. Is this an assist? ========== Answers: “Retail packing” is not necessarily an assist but is “packing costs” and is to be added to the price actually paid or payable. See pages […]