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CustomsForms.org | U.S. Customs Form: CBP Form 28 – Request for Information

U.S. Customs Form: CBP Form 28 – Request for Information

Customs and Border Protection Form 28 is used by U.S. Customs to request further information about a shipment being imported.  This information is typically requested if Customs believes that you have under-valued the shipment you are importing in order to avoid paying higher duties.

Customs asks if you are “related” to the supplier–that is, if you have a mutual owner or some kind of family relationship.  They also ask if there are some other payment arrangements such a licensing agreement, technology transfer, component sourcing contract or another deal in place that would lower the amount paid for this particular transaction. If such an agreement does exist, Customs may ignore the purchase price paid for that particular shipment and instead use the value of identical or similar shipments to determine what the fair market value should be.

If no similar shipments can be found, Customs may use a “cost-plus” method that estimates the product costs and adds an allowance for profit for the seller. They may also use the eventual sales price of the goods and build in an allowance for a reasonable profit for the importer.

In general, it’s best if importers can avoid having Customs perform its own independent valuation of their .   The government’s interest is to generate as much customs revenue as possible. If you are engaging in a transaction with a related party, or one where there is a side deal in place that allows you to purchase the goods at a cost significantly below market, you should consult with your  Customs broker to ensure that you are declaring them at their fair market value upon importation.

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