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Glossary of Imports Terms

Absolute (or quantitativequotas. “Absolute (or quantitative) quotas” are those which permit a limited number of units of specified merchandise to be entered or withdrawn for consumption during specified periods. Once the quantity permitted under the quota is filled, no further entries or withdrawals for consumption of merchandise subject to quota are permitted. Some absolute quotas limit the entry or withdrawal of merchandise from particular countries (geographic quotas) while others are global quotas and limit the entry or withdrawal of merchandise not by source but by total quantity.

Condition as Imported. “Condition as Imported” refers to the condition of the goods when they are brought within the jurisdiction of the United States with the intent to unlade. Imported merchandise must be classified with reference to its condition when imported.

Date of entry. The “date of entry” or “time of entry” of imported merchandise shall be the effective time of entry of such merchandise. The “time of entry” will be:

(1) The time the appropriate CBP officer authorizes the release of the merchandise or any part of the merchandise covered by the entry documentation, or

(2) The time the entry documentation is filed, if requested by the importer on the entry documentation at the time of filing, and the merchandise already has arrived within the port limits; or

(3) The time the merchandise arrives within the port limits, if the entry documentation is submitted before arrival, and if requested by the importer on the entry documentation at the time of submission.

Date of importation. “Date of importation” means, in the case of merchandise imported otherwise than by vessel, the date on which the merchandise arrives within the Customs territory of the United States. In the case of merchandise imported by vessel, “date of importation” means the date on which the vessel arrives within the limits of a port in the United States with intent then and there to unlade such merchandise.

Duties. “Duties” means Customs duties and any internal revenue taxes which attach upon importation.

Entered for consumption. “Entered for consumption” means that an entry summary for consumption has been filed with CBP in proper form, including electronic submission to the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) or any other CBP-authorized electronic data interchange system, with estimated duties attached. “Entered for consumption” also means the necessary documentation has been filed with CBP to withdraw merchandise from a duty-deferral program in the United States for exportation to Canada or Mexico or for entry into a duty-deferral program in Canada or Mexico

Entered temporarily under bond. “Entered temporarily under bond” means that an entry summary supporting a temporary importation under bond has been filed with CBP in proper form, including electronic submission to the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) or any other CBP-authorized electronic data interchange system.

Entry or withdrawal for consumption. “Entry or withdrawal for consumption” means entry for consumption or withdrawal from warehouse for consumption. This includes  documentation or data required by § 142.3  to be filed with the appropriate CBP officer or submitted electronically to the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) or any other CBP-authorized electronic data interchange system to secure the release of imported merchandise from CBP custody, or the act of filing that documentation. “Entry” also means that documentation or data required by § 181.53 of this chapter to be filed with CBP to withdraw merchandise from a duty-deferral program in the United States for exportation to Canada or Mexico or for entry into a duty-deferral program in Canada or Mexico.

Entry summary. “Entry summary” means any other documentation or electronic submission of data necessary to enable CBP to assess duties, and collect statistics on imported merchandise, and determine whether other requirements of law or regulation are met.

Filing. “Filing” means:

(1) The delivery to CBP, including electronic submission to the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) or any other CBP-authorized electronic data interchange system, of the entry documentation or data required by section 484(a), Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1484(a)), to obtain the release of merchandise, or

(2) The delivery to CBP, including electronic submission to the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) or any other CBP-authorized electronic data interchange system, together with the deposit of estimated duties, of the entry summary documentation or data required to assess duties, collect statistics, and determine whether other requirements of law and regulation are met, or

(3) The delivery to CBP, including electronic submission to the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) or any other CBP-authorized electronic data interchange system, together with the deposit of estimated duties, of the entry summary documentation or data, which will serve as both the entry and the entry summary.

Importer. “Importer” means the person primarily liable for the payment of any duties on the merchandise, or an authorized agent acting on his behalf. The importer may be:

(1) The consignee, or

(2) The importer of record, or

(3) The actual owner of the merchandise, if an actual owner’s declaration and superseding bond has been filed, or

(4) The transferee of the merchandise, if the right to withdraw merchandise in a bonded warehouse has been transferred.

Port and port of entry. The terms “port” and “port of entry” refer to any place designated by Executive Order of the President, by order of the Secretary of the Treasury, or by Act of Congress, at which a Customs officer is authorized to accept entries of merchandise to collect duties, and to enforce the various provisions of the Customs and navigation laws. The terms “port” and “port of entry” incorporate the geographical area under the jurisdiction of a port director. (The Customs ports in the Virgin Islands, although under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Treasury, have their own Customs laws (48 U.S.C. 1406(i)). These ports, therefore, are outside the Customs territory of the United States and the ports thereof are not “ports of entry” within the meaning of these regulations).

Presentation. “Presentation” is the delivery in proper form to the appropriate Customs officer of:

(1) An entry summary for consumption, which shall serve as both the entry and the entry summary, with estimated duties attached)); or

(2) An entry summary for consumption, which shall serve as both the entry and the entry summary, without estimated duties attached, if the entry/entry summary information and a valid scheduled statement date have been successfully received by Customs via the Automated Broker Interface; or

(3) A withdrawal for consumption with estimated duties attached.

Quota-class merchandise. “Quota-class merchandise” is any imported merchandise subject to limitations under an absolute or a tariff-rate quota.

Quota priority. “Quota priority” is the precedence granted to one entry or withdrawal for consumption of quota-class merchandise over other entries or withdrawals of merchandise subject to the same quota.

Quota status. “Quota status” is the standing which entitles quota-class merchandise to admission under an absolute quota, or to a reduced rate of duty under a tariff-rate quota, or to any other quota benefit.

Released conditionally. “Released conditionally” means any release from CBP custody before liquidation.

Selectivity criteria. “Selectivity criteria” means the categories of information that guide CBP’s judgment in evaluating and assessing the risk of an immediate delivery, entry, or entry summary transaction. Based upon these criteria, immediate delivery or entry transactions will be subject to either general examination, general examination with document review, or intensive examination. Entry summary transactions will be subject to either system review or summary document review. General examination (entry/immediate delivery) and system review (entry summary) procedures will constitute electronic processing provided all conditions necessary for electronic processing contained in this part are met.

Service port. The term “service port” refers to a Customs location having a full range of cargo processing functions, including inspections, entry, collections, and verification.

Shipment. “Shipment” means the merchandise described on the bill of lading or other document used to file or support entry, or in the oral declaration when applicable.

Submission. “Submission” means the voluntary delivery to the appropriate CBP officer or electronic submission to the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) or any other CBP-authorized electronic data interchange system of the entry summary documentation or data for preliminary review or of entry documentation or data for other purposes.

Tariff-rate quotas. “Tariff-rate quotas” permit a specified quantity of merchandise to be entered or withdrawn for consumption at a reduced duty rate during a specified period.