American Goods Returned Are Not Always Duty Free
American Goods Returned (AGR) also referred to as U.S. Made Goods Returned (USGR) is a formal declaration for entering goods manufactured in the U.S. that have been previously exported and are now returning.
Common Mistake Made By Importers With American Goods Returned
Do not assume that the return of goods to America will be without some difficulty. A common mistake that importers make when declaring American goods is that they do not know where the products were manufactured. Just because the product was purchased in the U.S. it doesn't necessarily mean it was manufactured in America.
American Goods Returning Usually Eligible For Duty-Free Treatment
The provision 9801.00.10 in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule allows U.S. made products to return to the U.S. without being subject to duty and the Merchandise Processing Fee. However, the provision stipulates the goods cannot be advanced in value or the condition of the goods improved while abroad.
For example, say you are the owner of a helicopter manufactured in the USA. The helicopter has electrical problems and you send it to a repair shop in Canada. When the helicopter returns the value of the repairs may be subject to duty.
Another example would be goods purchased from the U.S. by a Canadian company. They received their shipment and the goods were refused by the buyer because they did not meet their product specifications. The goods can be returned to the U.S. duty free if the proper documentation can be supplied to U.S. customs.
Documentation Required For American Goods Returning Duty Free
The most common proof is a Manufacturer's Affidavit. Like the name implies, this form is completed by the actual manufacturer of the goods. U.S. customs requires this for any shipments that are valued over $2000 and if the articles are not clearly marked with the name and address of the manufacturer.
The affidavit must state that the goods are a product of the USA. U.S. Customs requires the affidavit to be on the U.S. manufacturer's letterhead and it must be signed by an employee from the U.S. manufacturers facility that has the authority to sign on behalf of the company. At some U.S. ports of entry, Customs will accept a NAFTA Certificate that is completed by the manufacturer.
Next time you get ready to ship U.S. goods remember it is not always as easy as it seems. Be sure to supply the proper paperwork to support your duty free return.