U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) today released guidance on the processing of merchandise imported for relief efforts of Hurricane Irma, both for gifts accepted by FEMA via the international assistance system (IAS) concept of operation (CONOPS), and those being imported by U.S. charities (or other private entities) to assist with disaster relief.
As explained in today’s CBP release—CSMS #17-000601—such imports have been sanctioned by the U.S. State Department as an approved shipment after FEMA exercises its gift acceptance authority, and the goods are eligible to be entered without the payment of duty or taxes pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1322(b) or 19 U.S.C. 1318(b)(2).
The requirement for advanced electronic filing of cargo information may be waived for these shipments. For IAS goods, upon arrival at a port, a paper cargo manifest must be provided by the arriving carrier and screened by the port for high-risk factors in accordance with CBP policy. Also, arriving foreign shipments processed under these guidelines must be logged and tracked locally by the port in accordance with existing policies to document the following:
Shipments of emergency relief supplies, identified by CBP as having been accepted by the United States, through the U.S. State Department, will be allowed to proceed without FDA review or PN data being submitted. FDA will attempt to obtain the information required regarding such shipments in advance of arrival either through CBP or other means and will distribute this information to their field personnel as soon as possible.
CBP may not remit the duty on the entry of any goods imported for disaster relief by a private group or individual pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1322(b), unless the recipient is a recognized tax-exempt charitable organization. These private groups or individuals must provide a letter from the charity, on the charity’s letterhead, with the charity’s IRS number(s), and a statement that they are willing to accept the imported goods. CBP personnel may verify an organization’s tax-exempt status on the IRS list. If the charitable organization is not found, CBP personnel may verify an organization’s tax-exempt status and eligibility to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions.
For more information, contact a professional with KPMG’s Trade & Customs practice:
Douglas Zuvich | +1 (312) 665-1022 | email@example.com
Andrew Siciliano | +1 (631) 425-6057 | firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2017 KPMG LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership and the U.S. member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.
The KPMG logo and name are trademarks of KPMG International. KPMG International is a Swiss cooperative that serves as a coordinating entity for a network of independent member firms. KPMG International provides no audit or other client services. Such services are provided solely by member firms in their respective geographic areas. KPMG International and its member firms are legally distinct and separate entities. They are not and nothing contained herein shall be construed to place these entities in the relationship of parents, subsidiaries, agents, partners, or joint venturers. No member firm has any authority (actual, apparent, implied or otherwise) to obligate or bind KPMG International or any member firm in any manner whatsoever. The information contained in herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation. For more information, contact KPMG's Federal Tax Legislative and Regulatory Services Group at: + 1 202 533 4366, 1801 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20006.