CBP Delays Effective Date for Ruling Modification on Containers with Residual Chemicals until Further Notice
September 14, 2009
U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced on September 11, 2009 that it will delay indefinitely its enforcement of ruling letter HQ H026715, which would have required importers to enter and manifest all residual chemicals contained shipping containers and portable tanks.
On July 17, CBP issued ruling letter HQ H026715 to require all containers (and portable tanks) with chemicals, including empty containers, to be manifested and entered into compliance with all customs laws. HQ H026715 modified a previous ruling letter that had allowed reusable containers containing residual chemicals to be entered as instruments of international traffic (ITTs) and as such were exempt from normal entry procedures.
CBP had originally sought to begin enforcing the new requirement on September 16, 2009, but has since determined that the trade community would need more time to fully comply with the ruling’s requirements. However, CBP is encouraging importers to take steps to comply with this requirement at their earliest opportunity. Once a definitive enforcement date is established:
- Instruments of international traffic containing residual chemicals, cargo, goods, etc., must be manifested and entered in compliance with customs laws;
- If qualified, shipments containing residual goods can be entered as American Goods Returned (AGR); and
- Since the exact amount of the residual goods may not be known at the time the advance cargo information is required to be transmitted, the importer may estimate the amount when providing that information to the carrier for transmission to CBP. Additionally, the same estimated amount should be used at the time of entry of the goods. If a more precise amount is obtained after arrival then the entry should be amended.