Processes for US Goods Returned

Goods that were manufactured in the United States (US) and returned to the US are eligible for free entry back into the country only if:

  • They have not undergone any advancement in value due to upgrades, repairs, improvements in condition or any other processing which would elevate the value of the item.  
  • If the goods were subjected to changes which improved the condition then you would be responsible for paying duty on the fair market value of the labor or the item as it has been changed.  Chapter 9802 would cover the repairs, changes value. 
  • **NOTE**, duty is only assessed on the actual repair or improvement not on the entire value of the goods. 

If the goods have not been subjected to any of the outlined processes above then you would file a CBP Form 3311, Declaration for Free Entry of American Goods Returned here.   This would entitle you to free entry under HTS 9801.00.10 as duty free.

GOODS FOR WHICH DUTY HAS ALREADY BEEN PAID RETURNING TO THE US

A common question which arises is “what if I have goods on which duty has already been paid returning to the US”, for example a product sold that is defective, damaged, doesn’t conform to a certain specification outlines by the buyer etc..  

Subheading 9801.00.26, HTS provides for articles, previously imported, with respect to which the duty was paid, if

  • They were exported within 3 years after the date of such previous importation.
  • Sold for exportation and exported to individuals for their personal use, re-imported for the reason hat such articles do not conform to sample or specifications
  • Re-imported without having been advance in value or improved in condition by any process of manufacture or other means while abroad.
  • Re-imported as personal returns from those individuals; and re-imported by and for the account of the person who exported the goods from the United States within one year of the exportation.

If all of these conditions are satisfied, the goods are eligible to be re-imported duty free.  Also, if the goods are imported under HTS 9801.00.26 they are not subject to visa or quota requirements as well.

However, if the goods were originally exported with the benefit of drawback, the goods will not be eligible for duty-free treatment upon re-import.  The reason being, U.S. Note 1(a), Subchapter I, Chapter98, HTS, states that subheading 9801.00.26 would not apply to an article exported with the benefit of drawback.

***NOTE*** CBP has the right to request proof from the exporting party that duty was paid upon the previous import of the items.   

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