Questions and answers about CBP

  • US Customs definition of retail

    Question: Importing a reagent product that will be sold to clinics and hospitals for clinical testing.   Would this be considered a retail product under US Customs regulations? Answer 1: The statute and the CBP regulations do not offer a define of what constitutes “retail” or retail trade.” When a tariff term is not defined in […]

  • GUAM

    Question: Hello: Can a licensed U.S. Customs broker clear cargo in Guam? Answer 1: The process in Guam is different than in the mainland US.  In Guam the forwarder presents the cargo documentation to Guam Customs and Quarantine agents upon arrival of the cargo and taxes are assessed.  There is no ABI communication (or similar) […]

  • Certificates of Destruction

    Question: My company is importing goods that require and exemption from another government agency.  Under this condition, a Temporary Import Bond (TIB) is required.   This then requires the product to either be exported or destroyed under Customs Supervision.   I have heard from other companies they were able to get approval from certain ports to provide […]

  • Contact at the CBP about Type of Letters of Credit they Accept

    Question: Can someone help me to get contact at the CBP I could speak to regarding the types of letters of credit they accept? Answer 1: What type of L/C are you speaking about?  Are you talking about a financial guarantee like the import bond? Call your local Port Director – all ports are listed […]

  • China – Return Shipment

    Question: We have a container of goods that are being returned to the US from China due to Chinese customs not releasing it to our customer due to a paperwork error.  It’s been several months of in fighting between Chinese customs and our customer. The product is coming back to US on a vessel due […]


    QUESTION: I’m trying to find the line between “can file a prior disclosure” and “cannot file a PD.” So, what exactly is an “official investigation?” Does CBP have to use those exact words? Mere issuance of a 28 or 29 is NOT necessarily the beginning of an “official investigation,” right? ***************** Answers: Correct – mere issuance of […]

  • ANSWERS TO Question on CEE outreach question

    QUESTION: We’ve been approached by our CEE to provide a virtual tour of sorts of our factories and products to help them understand our product and company better when questions come up on our entries.  Our relationship with our CEE (6+ years) is extremely cordial and we have seen the benefits of this partnership so […]


    QUESTION: I understand that Customs may inspect any shipment entering the USA, but I’ve had a shipment on inspection hold now for 14 days. We will be in breach of contract with our customer if we cannot deliver soon. Is there any avenue available where I can at least state my case, as a responsible […]

  • Customs reportable quantity

    QUESTION: The issue of how we report quantities to US Customs came up today when we ship boxes or containers that contain 5, 10, 25, 50 or 100 individual pieces. For example, HS Code 7013.22.2000, lead crystal stemware drinking glasses, has a reporting quantity of No. A lot times we ship in 1 box but […]


    QUESTION: We all know that Customs expects imports to have implemented adequate internal controls such as control environment, risk assessments, etc., in order to exercise reasonable care, avoid penalties, get into the ISA program, etc. When I go to find here on Customs website these elements (five?) are actually listed, it is incredibly difficult to […]

  • CEE Management Visits [S]

    QUESTION: We were just informed by CBP CEE personnel that they would like to do a “Importer Visit”.  We have quarterly calls with CEE personnel but this is the first time they have asked to come on the premises.  They also want to visit one of our local factories.  Can anyone share their experience?  Do […]


    QUESTION: I am wondering if any ICPA members could share a high level presentation for training front desk personnel for a CBP visit. This would not get into the details of any one company’s internal policy. Rather, this would introduce front desk reception folks on reasonable care, importance of being prepared, and the possibility that […]