Frequently Asked Questions About Tariff Management

Why do we need someone else to look at the classification of our imports since our broker handles everything?

The classification of merchandise is the responsibility of the importer. Although brokers have the knowledge to properly classify goods they do not always have the time or resources to do the job thoroughly. Analyzing the chapter notes and explanatory notes takes time, rulings change on a monthly basis, and products are becoming more complex. It shows reasonable care to have "another pair of eyes" review the merchandise and it might even save some duty costs.

Why do I need a compliance assessment review?

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has made compliance with the regulations a major priority. CAT audits have been replaced with focused assessment audits with the emphasis on making sure the proper controls are in place. Non-compliance can mean delayed shipments and monetary penalties. A compliance assessment will give your company a clear understanding as to where you stand and provide a blue print to correct any deficiencies.

Can I obtain duty drawback if I don't import anything?

The answer is YES. Duty drawback is allowed on all imports on which duty is paid if those imports are subsequently exported. If your domestic suppliers imported the products or imported raw materials to make the products that you purchase from them, you can obtain the drawback rights to those imported products and recover the duty when you export them.

Can I obtain duty drawback if I don't export anything?

The answer is YES. Duty drawback is allowed on all imports on which duty is paid if those imports are subsequently exported. If you sell your products, which contain imported raw materials, domestically and your customer exports the finished product, you can arrange to have the drawback rights assigned to you.

Why use ITM as a service provider?

ITM specializes in tariff management. We do not make entry of merchandise or get involved in shipment of goods although we are licensed customs house brokers. Our focus is on a partnership to lower your overall duty cost. We are a "hands on" company that assigns an experienced senior tariff manager to every account to assure long-term success. Many of our clients have successfully outsourced their Free Trade Agreement certificate preparation, duty drawback program or product classification work to us. Our professional staff can use their expertise and dedication to provide an economically viable alternative to doing this work internally.

Why worry about Free Trade Agreement certificates of origin and can we outsource their preparation?

In order to obtain the benefits of NAFTA or any other Free Trade Agreement (FTA) proper analysis and documentation is required. NAFTA or other FTA certificates of origin are required. Without these certificates additional duties must be paid or penalties can be imposed. The preparation is complex and requires knowledge of the harmonized tariff schedule and the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) rules of origin. ITM provides this complete service at a very beneficial cost-benefit ratio. This involves vendor contact, product analysis and certificate preparation.

How much effort will be required by my company to do duty drawback?

ITM is a "hands-on" company that does all the work. We are not consultants but work as your in-house duty drawback department. Your effort is minimal. A one-day "kick-off" meeting, at your facilities, will familiarize ITM with your products, documentation, import process and export process. We will then obtain what we need either electronically or in hard copy. Show us where the data is and we will gather it and file the drawback claims. Your involvement from that point forward will average about 2 -3 hours a month (for answers to questions and some guidance).

How can I tell whether my company is a candidate for a duty drawback program?

With over 30 years’ experience, ITM can evaluate your potential to recover duty drawback refunds during a one-day "kick-off" meeting. Once an agreement is in place we will come to your facilities for the evaluation. If the potential is not there, there is no cost and no obligation to continue with the program. Let the experts make the evaluation.

What fees are involved in a duty drawback program and a classification review of our imported products?

ITM's fee structure for duty drawback service and classification review is done on a contingency basis. This means there are no up front charges and ITM gets paid a percentage of the recovery. If no money is saved there is no cost.

To learn more about our services, please contact us:
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