Questions and answers about Assists – Tooling


    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 […]


    QUESTION: We have a tooling, an assist, that we are providing to our vendor located in China.  However, our  vendor in China is asking us to ship to their other location in Hong Kong and they will create some sort of internal tooling contract to send the tooling to their location in China.  This is because […]

  • Assists

    QUESTION: We have 20 new items that have been made with tooling and associated productions costs for a total price that we paid to our vendor.The first production run of all these items is due in, and we want to pay the whole assist up front, on the first entry, since the item is a […]


    QUESTION: We procure a mold that costs $20,000 and provide it to our overseas manufacturer.  The anticipated production that we need from that mold is 20,000 units, which will be imported into the US. We plan to apportion the value of the assist over the anticipated 20,000 units.  However, after 5,000 units are made, we […]


    QUESTION: We have a tooling that we own in the U.S. that we will be providing free of charge to a new supplier in country A to produce some component parts.  The component parts are then exported to another one of our suppliers in country B for assembly into another sub-assembly component part.  The sub-assembly […]

  • Assists

    QUESTION: We found a potential missed assist while auditing and are investigating further to determine if it really is an assist and or if the values were declared as assists. Our process is always to declare on the first entry, and as this hasn’t come up before, we’re looking for advice from the membership. If […]

  • Assists

    QUESTION: We are sending two drives to Canada for a company to test the equipment they are selling to use to make sure they work correctly. Will these drives that we send to them “free of charge” be considered an assist and would we need to add in the freight to get these drives to […]

  • Tariff Treatment of R&D Costs

    QUESTION: I received this vague comment from a Chinese supplier re: reduced import duties on R&D costs: ‘In regard to invoices, I have been told that there is a certain percentage of the cost in products involved with research and development, which is tariff free.  We can present the invoice properly so that it will […]

  • Assist and Free Trade Agreements

    QUESTION: If you include the value of an assist provided to a supplier in Canada in your declared value, and under USMCA the finished article is originating content in your bill of material, and then from an accounting standpoint, the tooling owned by the principal/manufacturer is considered overhead/manufacturing/operating expenses, which is also originating, is that, […]