Monday, July 20, 2009

Temporary Importations (TIB)

Thank you for joining us for our series on classification. Last Monday, we discussed classification of clocks. Today, we will explore one of the methods of importing goods duty-free using Chapter 98 of the HTSUS.

One of the most frequently asked questions by importers is whether there is some way to import their goods without paying duty. In certain circumstances, there may be a way, but to take advantage of the free provisions, it’s important for importers and brokers to know those options, usually found in Chapter 98 of the HTSUS. Chapter 98 covers U.S. Goods Returned, Goods Assembled Abroad with U.S. Components, Government Importations, Samples and more. Traditionally, this section has been the most ignored in the study of classification and this is a mistake. For qualifying products, the special provisions usually provide some alternative to the normal payment of duties. Let’s look at one of the duty-free alternatives.

Is there a way to import an article that is not going to remain in the country without having to pay duty?

Temporary Importation under Bond (TIB) is a procedure that allows merchandise to be entered duty-free for a limited time. Merchandise entered under a TIB cannot be sold, but can be repaired, altered, or processed. Not all merchandise can be entered under a TIB. Merchandise must fit into one of the provisions in the HTSUS under 9813 and any relevant Chapter Notes. Importers must post a bond guaranteeing the payment of duties in the event the merchandise is not exported. Generally, goods entered under a TIB may remain in the US for a period of one (1) year, plus a maximum of two (2) one-year extensions. Thus, the goods may remain in the U.S. a maximum of three years. Importers must be able to show proof of exportation and provide CBP with advance notice of export, in case they decide to inspect the outbound merchandise. Regulations for TIB's are found in 19 CFR 10.31 to 10.40. Some of the items subject to temporary importation privileges include the following.

· 9813.00.05 - Articles to be repaired, altered or processed, or manufactured
· 9813.00.10 - Models of women's wearing apparel
· 9813.00.15 - Articles imported by illustrators and photographers
· 9813.00.20 - Samples solely for use in taking orders for merchandise
· 9813.00.25- Articles solely for examination with a view to reproduction
· 9813.00.30 - Articles intended solely for testing experimental or review purposes
· 9813.00.35 - Automobiles, motorcycles, bicycles, airplanes, boats, etc imported by nonresidents for use in races or other contests
· 9813.00.40 - Railroad equipment for emergency services
· 9813.00.45 - Containers for compressed gases
· 9813.00.50 - Professional equipment, tools of trade imported by or for nonresidents
· 9813.00.55 - Articles of special design used in connection with the manufacture of articles for export
· 9813.00.60 - Animals for breeding, exhibition or competition and the usual equipment
· 9813.00.70 - Works of fine arts imported by professional artists, lecturers or scientists for use in exhibition, promotion and encouragement of art or science
· 9813.00.75- Automobiles and parts for show purposes

Join us next week as we tackle another challenging classification issue. If you have any specific commodities or sections of the HTSUS that you would like to see discussed in this series, please feel free to post a comment or send your suggestions to

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