Questions and answers about Assists – Tooling


    QUESTION: I have a question about a Customs Assist. Would the tool in the following case be considered an assist or not? We have a tool that is used to build one of our products. Our supplier built this tool, with our design, and we paid them for it in full. This same supplier uses […]


    QUESTION: Regulations state that “Engineering, development, artwork, design work, and plans and sketches that are undertaken elsewhere than in the United States and are necessary for the production of the imported merchandise.” Our original designs are created in the US, but exported for checking and to have product deviation drawings created. For example, the US […]

  • Is it an assist?

    QUESTION: Assist: • US Company provides unrelated foreign supplier with an injection mold. • Unrelated foreign supplier uses the injection mold to manufacture components • US Company purchases and imports molded components from unrelated foreign supplier for use in US Mold value and cost of freight to landing mold at the foreign supplier are reportable […]

  • Shipping Duty?

    QUESTION: I know if I ship parts to a foreign supplier without charge that would be a dutiable Assist on my imported finished product. What if I ship parts to a foreign supplier and charge them for it, but don’t charge them my shipping costs. Is the shipping an additional dutiable cost like an Assist […]


    QUESTION: A slightly unique assist situation: • My company bought tooling built in Japan from a Japanese company in 2016 • The tooling was then transferred from the Japanese company to its Chinese counterpart in 2017 (assist duties paid) • The supplier paid for the transportation, and the cost for transportation was to be amortized […]

  • Foreign inland freight dutiable assist or not

    QUESTION: We import various party supplies, school supplies and misc items. We negotiated pricing based on FOB , but the vendor is only responsible of deliver cargo to our oversea’s warehouse for inspection and consolidation. And then our forwarder load the container and send to US ports. However, sometimes if we request vendor to ship […]

  • Assists

    QUESTION: My company is being pushed to “outsource” engineering design work more as we continue to take on new projects and product. Potential vendors for this design work we are looking at will have resources located “offshore” in places like Europe and Asia Pacific. In these cases we would never “receive” actual parts as a […]


    QUESTION: We have molds that will be assists for us. If we decide to pay in increments for the molds and there are charges for not paying in full instead, does that extra charge (interests) also dutiable? I was told this by somebody, but I tend to disagree because that is a cost of financing […]

  • Assists

    QUESTION: We recently started buying some metal parts from a new supplier in China. The supplier manufactured the required tooling and fixtures locally in China and it has already billed for the cost. We are now in the process of receiving the first batch of parts and I’m looking for suggestions on how to handle […]

  • Prototype / Assists

    QUESTION: My customer is considering options for valuation, and will probably go on recon in the future. But until then, assists should still be declared. So . . . In an OEM environment, how do you handle assists such as tooling or engineering and development when the parts are prototypes, but ultimately intended for production? […]

  • Assist – Value of Tooling

    QUESTION: If one has tools that they are sending to foreign supplier free of charge how does one determine the value of tool if the tool is over 20 years old and no longer on books? ================== ANSWERS: FMV (obviously if it is worth providing/shipping, it has an economic value) =============== Compare the scrap value […]

  • Claiming assists on Duty Free items

    QUESTION: How do I claim assists for tooling on items which are 0% duty?  I know it will affect MPF, but is that all? ========== Answers: The legal responsibility to declare an assist where one exists is not connected to the HTS classification and rate of duty for the product. Any increase in value will […]