About GPO   |   Newsroom/Media   |   Congressional Relations   |   Inspector General   |   Careers   |   Contact   |   askGPO   |   Help  
 
Home   |   Customers   |   Vendors   |   Libraries  

The Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR) is a regularly updated, unofficial editorial compilation of CFR material and Federal Register amendments produced by the National Archives and Records Administration's Office of the Federal Register (OFR) and the Government Printing Office.

Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules for the Code of Federal Regulations and the United States Code
Text | PDF

Find, review, and submit comments on Federal rules that are open for comment and published in the Federal Register using Regulations.gov.

Purchase individual CFR titles from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore.

Find issues of the CFR (including issues prior to 1996) at a local Federal depository library.

[1]
 
 

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of December 17, 2014

Title 19Chapter I → Part 127


Title 19: Customs Duties


PART 127—GENERAL ORDER, UNCLAIMED, AND ABANDONED MERCHANDISE


Contents
§127.0   Scope.

Subpart A—General Order Merchandise

§127.1   Merchandise considered general order merchandise.
§127.2   Withdrawal from general order for entry or exportation.
§127.4   General order period defined.

Subpart B—Unclaimed and Abandoned Merchandise

§127.11   Unclaimed merchandise.
§127.12   Abandoned merchandise.
§127.13   Storage of unclaimed and abandoned merchandise.
§127.14   Disposition of merchandise in Customs custody beyond time fixed by law.

Subpart C—Sale of Unclaimed and Abandoned Merchandise

§127.21   Time of sale.
§127.22   Place of sale.
§127.23   Appraisement of merchandise.
§127.24   Notice of sale.
§127.25   Advertisement of sale.
§127.26   Catalogs.
§127.27   Conduct of sale.
§127.28   Special merchandise.
§127.29   Unsold merchandise.

Subpart D—Proceeds of Sale

§127.31   Disposition of proceeds.
§127.32   Expenses of cartage, storage, and labor.
§127.33   Chargeable duties.
§127.34   Auctioneer's commissions.
§127.35   Presentation of accounts.
§127.36   Claim for surplus proceeds of sale.
§127.37   Insufficient proceeds.

Subpart E—Title to Unclaimed and Abandoned Merchandise Vesting in Government

§127.41   Government title to unclaimed and abandoned merchandise.
§127.42   Disposition of merchandise owned by Government.
§127.43   Petition of party for surplus proceeds had merchandise been sold.

Authority: 19 U.S.C. 66, 1311, 1312, 1484, 1485, 1490, 1491, 1492, 1493, 1506, 1559, 1563, 1623, 1624, 1646a; 26 U.S.C. 5753.

Section 127.12 also issued under 19 U.S.C. 1753;

Section 127.14 also issued under 19 U.S.C. 1555, 1556, 1557;

Section 127.21 also issued under 19 U.S.C. 1753;

Section 127.28 also issued under 15 U.S.C. 2612, 26 U.S.C. 5688;

Sections 127.31, 127.36, 127.37 also issued under 19 U.S.C. 1753.

Source: T.D. 74-114, 39 FR 12092, Apr. 3, 1974, unless otherwise noted.

§127.0   Scope.

This part sets forth regulations pertaining to general order merchandise, unclaimed merchandise, and abandoned merchandise, the storage and sale thereof, and the distribution of the proceeds from the sale thereof. Regulations regarding the abandonment of merchandise by the importer to the Government in accordance with section 506(1), Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1506(1)), appear in part 158 of this chapter.

Subpart A—General Order Merchandise

§127.1   Merchandise considered general order merchandise.

Merchandise shall be considered general order merchandise when it is taken into the custody of the port director and deposited in the public stores or a general order warehouse at the risk and expense of the consignee for any of the following reasons:

(a) Whenever entry of any imported merchandise is not made within the time provided by law or regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury.

(b) Whenever entry is incomplete because of failure to pay estimated duties.

(c) Whenever, in the opinion of the port director, entry cannot be made for want of proper documents or other causes.

(d) Whenever the port director believes that any merchandise is not correctly or legally invoiced.

(e) Whenever, at the request of the consignee or the owner or master of the vessel or person in charge of the vehicle in which merchandise is imported, any merchandise is taken possession of by the port director after the expiration of 1 day after entry of the vessel or report of the vehicle.

§127.2   Withdrawal from general order for entry or exportation.

(a) Exportation within 6 months from date of importation. Merchandise in general order may be exported without examination or appraisement if the merchandise is delivered to the exporting carrier within 6 months from the date of importation. This merchandise may be entered within 6 months from date of importation for immediate transportation to any port of entry designated by the consignee.

(b) After expiration of 6 months from date of importation. Entry for immediate transportation shall be permitted after the expiration of the 6-month period only for the purpose of filing an entry for consumption at the port of destination.

(c) Withdrawal of less than single general order lot. The withdrawal from general order of less than a single general order lot shall not be permitted except as provided for in §141.52 of this chapter.

[T.D. 74-114, 39 FR 12092, Apr. 3, 1974, as amended by T.D. 98-74, 63 FR 51290, Sept. 25, 1998]

§127.4   General order period defined.

The general order period is that period of time during which general order merchandise, as defined in §127.1, is not subject to sale. The general order period expires 6 months from the date of importation.

[T.D. 79-221, 44 FR 46814, Aug. 9, 1979, as amended by T.D. 98-74, 63 FR 51290, Sept. 25, 1998]

Subpart B—Unclaimed and Abandoned Merchandise

§127.11   Unclaimed merchandise.

Any entered or unentered merchandise (except merchandise under section 557, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1557), but including merchandise entered for transportation in bond or for exportation) which remains in Customs custody for 6 months from the date of importation or a lesser period for special merchandise as provided by §127.28 (c), (d), and (h), and without all estimated duties and storage or other charges having been paid, shall be considered unclaimed and abandoned.

[T.D. 79-221, 44 FR 46814, Aug. 9, 1979, as amended by T.D. 98-74, 63 FR 51290, Sept. 25, 1998]

§127.12   Abandoned merchandise.

(a) Involuntarily abandoned merchandise. The following shall be considered to be involuntarily abandoned merchandise:

(1) Articles entered for a trade fair under the provisions of section 3 of the Trade Fair Act of 1959 (19 U.S.C. 1752), which are still in Customs custody at the expiration of 3 months after the closing date of the fair for which they were entered. (See §147.47 of this chapter.)

(2) Any imported merchandise upon which any duties or charges are unpaid, remaining in a bonded warehouse beyond the 5-year warehouse period.

(b) Voluntarily abandoned merchandise. The following merchandise shall be considered to be voluntarily abandoned merchandise and the property of the United States Government:

(1) Merchandise which is taken possession of by the port director at the request of the consignee, or owner or master of the vessel or person in charge of the vehicle in which the merchandise was imported.

(2) Merchandise abandoned by the importer to the United States within 30 days after entry in the case of merchandise not sent to the public stores for examination, or within 30 days after the release of the examination packages or merchandise in the case of merchandise sent to the public stores for examination.

(3) Articles entered for a trade fair under the provisions of section 3 of the Trade Fair Act of 1959 (19 U.S.C. 1752), which have been abandoned to the United States within 3 months of the closing of the fair.

(4) Merchandise in a bonded warehouse abandoned by the consignee within 3 years from the date of original importation. (See subpart D of part 158 of this chapter.)

[T.D. 74-114, 39 FR 12092, Apr. 3, 1974, as amended by T.D. 79-221, 44 FR 46814, Aug. 9, 1979]

§127.13   Storage of unclaimed and abandoned merchandise.

(a) Place of storage. A class 11 bonded warehouse or warehouse of class 3, 4, or 5, certified by the port director as qualified to receive general order merchandise, will be responsible for the transportation and storage of unclaimed and abandoned merchandise, upon due notification to the proprietor of the warehouse by the arriving carrier (or other party to whom the carrier has transferred the merchandise under a Customs-authorized permit to transfer or in-bond entry), as provided in §§4.37(c), 122.50(c), and 123.10(c) of this chapter. If no warehouse of these classes is available to receive general order merchandise, or if the merchandise requires specialized storage facilities which are unavailable in a bonded facility, the port director, after having received notice of the presence of unentered merchandise or baggage in accordance with the provisions of this section, will direct the storage of the merchandise by the carrier or by any other appropriate means.

(b) Payment of storage and expenses. Storage at the ordinary rates and all other expenses shall be paid by the owner or consignee of the merchandise upon entry thereof. If the goods are sold, such charges shall be paid from the proceeds of the sale to the extent that proceeds are available.

[T.D. 74-114, 39 FR 12092, Apr. 3, 1974, as amended by T.D. 02-65, 67 FR 68034, Nov. 8, 2002]

§127.14   Disposition of merchandise in Customs custody beyond time fixed by law.

(a) Merchandise subject to sale or other disposition—(1) General. If storage or other charges due the United States have not been paid on merchandise remaining in Customs custody after the expiration of the bond period in the case of merchandise entered for warehouse, or after the expiration of the general order period, as defined in §127.4, in any other case, even though any duties due have been paid, such merchandise will be sold as provided in subpart C of this part, retained for official use as provided in subpart E of this part, destroyed, or otherwise disposed of as authorized by the Commissioner of Customs under the law, unless the merchandise is entered or withdrawn for consumption in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section.

(2) Destruction of merchandise—(i) Proprietor responsibility. If the port director concludes that merchandise in general order has no commercial value or is otherwise unsalable and cannot be disposed of at public auction (see §127.29), and that its destruction is warranted, the warehouse proprietor must assume responsibility under bond, including the expense, for destroying the merchandise (see §113.63(c)(3) of this chapter). The port director will authorize such destruction on Customs Form (CF) 3499, or on a similar Customs document as designated by the port director or an electronic equivalent as authorized by Customs.

(ii) Notice of destruction. Before destroying the merchandise, the warehouse proprietor must first make a reasonable effort under bond (see §113.63(b) and (c) of this chapter), to identify and inform the importer (owner) or consignee regarding the intended destruction of the merchandise. When the appropriate party is identified, notice of destruction will be provided to the party on Customs Form (CF) 5251, appropriately modified, or other similar Customs document as designated by the port director or an electronic equivalent as authorized by Customs, at least 30 calendar days prior to the date of intended destruction.

(b) Entry of merchandise subject to sale. Merchandise subject to sale (except merchandise abandoned under section 506(1) or 563(b), Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1506(1), 1563(b))), may be entered or withdrawn for consumption at any time prior to the sale upon payment of the duties, any internal revenue tax, and all charges and expenses that may have accrued thereon. Such merchandise may not be exported without payment of duty nor entered for warehouse.

(c) Release of merchandise to warehouse proprietor. The following merchandise for which a permit to release has been issued shall be held to be no longer in the custody of Customs officers and shall be released to the warehouse proprietor:

(1) Merchandise upon which all duties and charges have been paid.

(2) Free and duty-paid merchandise upon which all charges have been paid, not entered for warehouse which remains in bonded warehouse for more than the general order period.

[T.D. 74-114, 39 FR 12092, Apr. 3, 1974, as amended by T.D. 75-161, 40 FR 28790, July 9, 1975; T.D. 79-221, 44 FR 46814, Aug. 9, 1979; T.D. 82-204, 47 FR 49375, Nov. 1, 1982; T.D. 02-65, 67 FR 68034, Nov. 8, 2002]

Subpart C—Sale of Unclaimed and Abandoned Merchandise

§127.21   Time of sale.

All unclaimed and abandoned merchandise will be sold at the first regular sale held after the merchandise becomes subject to sale, unless a deferment of its sale is authorized by the port director. Regular sales shall be made once every year or more often at the discretion of the port director.

[T.D. 74-114, 39 FR 12092, Apr. 3, 1974, as amended by T.D. 02-65, 67 FR 68034, Nov. 8, 2002]

§127.22   Place of sale.

The port director, in his discretion, may authorize the sale of merchandise subject to sale (including explosives, perishable articles and articles liable to depreciation) at any port. The consignee of any merchandise which is to be transferred from the port where it was imported to another port for sale, shall be notified of the transfer so that he may have the option of making entry of the merchandise before the transfer and sale.

[T.D. 95-77, 60 FR 50020, Sept. 27, 1995]

§127.23   Appraisement of merchandise.

Before unclaimed and abandoned merchandise is offered for sale, it shall be appraised in accordance with sections 402 and 402a, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1401a, 1402). Such merchandise shall also be appraised at its actual domestic value in its condition at the time and place of examination, whether or not it has depreciated or appreciated in value since the date of exportation. The quantity of merchandise in each lot shall be reported.

§127.24   Notice of sale.

Notice of sale shall be sent on Customs Form 5251, 30 days prior to the date of sale, or 30 days prior to the transfer of merchandise to the place of sale, to the following:

(a) Importer, if known; or

(b) Consignee, if name and address can be ascertained; or

(c) Shipper, his representative or agent, if merchandise is consigned to order or consignee cannot be ascertained; or

(d) Warehouse transferee; or

(e) Lienholder.

§127.25   Advertisement of sale.

(a) Regular advertising. Except as prescribed in §127.28 (c), (d), and (h), and in paragraph (b) of this section, a brief notice of the time and place of sale shall be given for three successive weeks, immediately preceding the sale, in one newspaper of extensive circulation published at the port where the sale is to be held. The newspaper is to be selected by the port director and publication of the notice shall be authorized on the standard form provided for that purpose. The notice shall designate the place where catalogs may be obtained and a reasonable opportunity to inspect the merchandise shall be afforded prospective purchasers.

(b) Where proceeds are insufficient to pay expenses and duties. If the port director is satisfied that the proceeds of the sale will not be sufficient to pay the expenses and duties, a written or printed notice of the sale in lieu of the advertisement shall be conspicuously posted in the customhouse, and, if deemed necessary, at some other proper place for the time specified in paragraph (a) of this section.

§127.26   Catalogs.

Catalogs, if used shall specify the description of packages, the description and quantities of their contents, the appraised value thereof, and also the domestic value at the time and place of the examination of the merchandise. They shall be distributed at the sale and announcement made that the Government does not guarantee quality or value and that no allowance will be made for any deficiency found after sale.

§127.27   Conduct of sale.

Sales may be conducted by the port director, any employee designated by him or by a public auctioneer.

§127.28   Special merchandise.

(a) Drugs, seeds, plants, nursery stock, and other articles required to be inspected by the Department of Agriculture. Drugs, seeds, plants, nursery stock, and other articles required to be inspected by the Department of Agriculture must be inspected by a representative of the Department of Agriculture to ascertain whether they comply with the requirements of the law and regulations of that Department. If found not to comply with such requirements, they shall be immediately destroyed.

(b) Pesticides and devices. Pesticides and devices intended for trapping, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest or any other form of plant or animal life (other than man or other than bacteria, virus, or other microorganism on or in living man or other living animals) shall be inspected by a representative of the Environmental Protection Agency to ascertain whether they comply with the requirements of the law and regulations of that agency. If found not to comply with such requirements, they shall be immediately destroyed.

(c) Explosives, dangerous articles, fruit, and perishables. Unclaimed explosives and other dangerous articles, and fruit and other perishable articles shall be sold after 3-days' public notice. When it is probable that entry will be made at an early date for unclaimed perishable merchandise, the port director may hold the merchandise for a reasonable time in a bonded cold-storage warehouse if one is available.

(d) Articles liable to depreciation. Other unclaimed merchandise shall be sold at public auction upon public notice of not less than 6 or more than 10 days, as the port director may determine, if in his opinion such merchandise will depreciate and sell for an amount insufficient to pay the duties, storage, and other charges if allowed to remain in general order for 6 months.

(e) Tobacco and tobacco products. Tobacco articles and tobacco materials as defined in 26 U.S.C. 5702(j) and (k), may be sold for domestic consumption only if they will bring an amount sufficient to pay the expenses of sale as well as the internal revenue tax. If these articles cannot be sold for domestic consumption in accordance with the foregoing conditions, they shall be destroyed unless they can be advantageously sold for export from continuous Customs custody or unless the Commissioner of Customs has authorized other disposition to be made under the law. These articles may be sold for domestic consumption even though the proceeds of sale will not cover the duties due.

(f) Distilled spirits, wines, and malt beverages. All unclaimed and abandoned distilled spirits, wines, and malt beverages may be sold for domestic consumption if they will bring an amount sufficient to pay the internal revenue tax. If they cannot be sold for domestic consumption in accordance with the foregoing condition, they shall be destroyed unless they can be advantageously sold for export from continuous Customs custody or unless the Commissioner of Customs has authorized other disposition to be made under the law. The sale must be conducted in accordance with the alcoholic beverage laws of the state in which the sale is held.

(g) Other merchandise subject to internal revenue taxes. All other unclaimed and abandoned merchandise subject to internal revenue taxes may be sold for domestic consumption if it will bring an amount sufficient to pay the internal revenue tax. If, in the opinion of the port director, it is insufficient in value to justify its sale, the merchandise shall be destroyed, unless it can be advantageously sold for export from continuous Customs custody or unless the Commissioner of Customs has authorized other disposition to be made under the law. These articles may be sold for domestic consumption even though the proceeds of sale will not cover the duties due.

(h) Unclaimed merchandise remaining on dock. Unclaimed merchandise remaining on the dock which, in the opinion of the port director, will not sell for enough to pay the cost of cartage and storage shall be sold at public auction upon public notice of not less than 6 or more than 10 days.

(i) Chemical substances, mixtures, and articles containing chemical substances or mixtures. Chemical substances, mixtures, and articles containing a chemical substance or mixture, as these items are defined in section 3, Toxic Substances Control Act (“TSCA”) and section 12.120 of this chapter, shall be inspected by a representative of the Environmental Protection Agency to ascertain whether they comply with TSCA and the regulations and orders issued thereunder. If found not to comply with these requirements they shall be exported or otherwise disposed of immediately in accordance with the provisions of §§12.125 through 12.127 of this chapter.

[T.D. 74-114, 39 FR 12092, Apr. 3, 1974, as amended by T.D. 83-158, 48 FR 34740, Aug. 1, 1983; T.D. 98-74, 63 FR 51290, Sept. 25, 1998; T.D. 02-65, 67 FR 68034, Nov. 8, 2002]

§127.29   Unsold merchandise.

Merchandise offered for sale but not sold shall be included in the next regular sale of unclaimed and abandoned merchandise. If the port director is satisfied that such merchandise is unsalable or of no commercial value, it shall be destroyed.

Subpart D—Proceeds of Sale

§127.31   Disposition of proceeds.

From the proceeds of sale of merchandise remaining in public stores or in bonded warehouse beyond the time fixed by law, the following charges shall be paid in the order named:

(a) Internal revenue taxes.

(b) Expenses of advertising and sale.

(c) Expenses of cartage, storage and labor. When the proceeds are insufficient to pay such charges fully, they shall be paid pro rata. (For merchandise entered for warehousing, see §127.32 of this subpart.)

(d) Duties.

(e) Any other charges due the United States in connection with the merchandise.

(f) Any sum due to satisfy a lien for freight, charges, or contributions in general average, of which due notice shall have been given in the manner prescribed by law.

§127.32   Expenses of cartage, storage, and labor.

The expenses of cartage, storage, and labor for merchandise entered for warehousing shall be paid in the following order:

(a) When such merchandise was warehoused in public stores, expenses of storage and labor shall be paid after expenses of sale (pro-rated when proceeds are insufficient to pay them fully) and any cartage charges shall be paid last.

(b) When such merchandise was warehoused in a bonded warehouse, expenses of storage, cartage, and labor shall be paid last (pro-rated when proceeds are insufficient to pay them fully).

§127.33   Chargeable duties.

The duties chargeable on any merchandise within the purview of this subpart shall be assessed on the appraised dutiable value at the rate of duty chargeable at the time the merchandise became subject to sale. Household and personal effects of the character provided for in Chapter 98, Subchapter IV, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (19 U.S.C. 1202), which belong to persons who have not arrived in this country before the effects become subject to sale, are dutiable at the rates in effect when the effects become subject to sale, even though such persons arrive and make entry for the effects before they are sold.

[T.D. 74-114, 39 FR 12092, Apr. 3, 1974, as amended by T.D. 89-1, 53 FR 51255, Dec. 21, 1988; T.D. 97-82, 62 FR 51770, Oct. 3, 1997]

§127.34   Auctioneer's commissions.

The duties of the auctioneer shall be confined to selling the merchandise and his charge for such service shall in no case exceed the commissions usual at the port. Such commissions shall be based on the amount of the successful bid.

§127.35   Presentation of accounts.

Accounts for the auctioneer's charges and all other expenses of sale which may be properly chargeable on the merchandise shall be presented to the port director for payment within 10 days from the date of sale. Such expenses shall be apportioned pro rata on the amounts received for different lots sold.

§127.36   Claim for surplus proceeds of sale.

(a) Filing of claim. Claims for the surplus proceeds of the sale of unclaimed or abandoned merchandise shall be filed with the port director at whose direction the merchandise was sold. The following shall be used in filing a claim:

(1) Unclaimed merchandise. Claims for surplus proceeds of the sale of unclaimed merchandise which has become abandoned and sold under section 491 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1491), shall be supported by the original bill of lading. If only part of a shipment is involved, either a photostatic or certified copy of the original bill of lading may be submitted in lieu of the original bill of lading.

(2) Involuntarily abandoned merchandise—(i) Warehouse goods deemed abandoned. Claims for surplus proceeds of sale of warehouse goods deemed involuntarily abandoned sold under section 559 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1559), shall be established by reference to the warehouse entry, or, if the right to withdraw the merchandise from warehouse has been transferred, by reference to the documents by which the transfer was made.

(ii) Trade fair articles deemed abandoned. Claims for surplus proceeds of sale of trade fair articles deemed involuntarily (mandatorily) abandoned under section 4 of the Trade Fair Act of 1959 (19 U.S.C. 1753(c)), shall be supported by the original bill of lading. If only part of a shipment is involved, either a photostatic copy or certified copy of the original bill of lading may be submitted in lieu of the original bill of lading. (See §147.47 of this chapter.)

(b) Payment of claim. If a claim of the owner or consignee of unclaimed or abandoned merchandise for the surplus proceeds of sale is properly established as provided in this section, such proceeds of sale shall be paid to him pursuant to section 493 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1493).

(c) Doubtful claims. Any doubtful claims for the proceeds of sale along with all pertinent documents and information available to the port director shall be forwarded to the Commissioner of Customs for instructions or for referral to the General Accounting Office for direct settlement.

§127.37   Insufficient proceeds.

(a) Warehouse merchandise deemed involuntarily abandoned. If the proceeds of sale of warehouse merchandise deemed involuntarily abandoned are insufficient to pay the duties after payment of all charges having priority, the deficiency shall be collected under the bond for the importation and entry of merchandise on Customs Form 301, containing the bond conditions set forth in §113.62 of this chapter.

(b) Unclaimed merchandise and trade fair articles involuntarily abandoned. If the proceeds of sale of unclaimed merchandise or trade fair articles involuntarily abandoned are insufficient to pay the charges and duties, the consignee shall be liable for the deficiency unless the merchandise was shipped to him without his consent. If no entry for the merchandise has been filed, and no other attempt to control the merchandise has been made, the merchandise shall be regarded as shipped to the consignee without his consent and no effort shall be made to collect any deficiency of duties or charges from such consignee.

[T.D. 74-114, 39 FR 12092, Apr. 3, 1974, as amended by T.D. 84-213, 49 FR 41183, Oct. 19, 1984]

Subpart E—Title to Unclaimed and Abandoned Merchandise Vesting in Government

Source: T.D. 02-65, 67 FR 68034, Nov. 8, 2002, unless otherwise noted.

§127.41   Government title to unclaimed and abandoned merchandise.

(a) Vesting of title in Government. At the end of the 6-month period noted in §127.11 of this part, at which time merchandise having thus remained in Customs custody is considered as unclaimed and abandoned, the port director, with the concurrence of the Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field Operations, may, in lieu of sale of the merchandise as provided in subpart C of this part, provide notice to all known interested parties under paragraph (b) of this section that the title to such merchandise will be considered as vesting in the United States, free and clear of any liens or encumbrances, as of the 30th day after the date of the notice unless, before the 30th day, the merchandise is entered or withdrawn for consumption and all duties, taxes, fees, transfer and storage charges, and any other expenses that may have accrued on the merchandise are paid.

(b) Notice to known interested parties. Notice that the title to unclaimed and abandoned merchandise will vest in the United States, as described in paragraph (a) of this section, will be sent to the following parties on Customs Form (CF) 5251, appropriately modified, or other similar Customs document as designated by the port director or an electronic equivalent as authorized by Customs:

(1) Importer, if known;

(2) Consignee, if name and address can be ascertained;

(3) Shipper, or the shipper's representative or agent, if merchandise is consigned to order or the consignee cannot be ascertained; and

(4) Any other known interested parties.

(c) Appraisement of merchandise. Before title to unclaimed and abandoned merchandise is vested in the United States, the merchandise will be appraised in accordance with section 402, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1401a).

§127.42   Disposition of merchandise owned by Government.

(a) Disposition. If title to any unclaimed and abandoned merchandise vests in the United States under §127.41, the merchandise may be retained by Customs for its official use, or in Customs discretion, the merchandise may be transferred to any other Federal, state or local agency, destroyed or disposed of otherwise.

(b) Payment of charges and expenses. All transfer and storage charges or expenses accruing on retained or transferred merchandise will be paid by the receiving agency. Such transfer and storage charges or expenses will include those accruing with respect to the merchandise while subject to general order.

§127.43   Petition of party for surplus proceeds had merchandise been sold.

(a) Filing of petition. Under section 491(d), Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1491(d)), any party who can satisfactorily establish title to or a substantial interest in unclaimed and abandoned merchandise, the title to which has vested in the United States, may file a petition for the amount that would have been payable to the party had the merchandise been sold and a proper claim made under section 493, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1493).

(b) When and with whom filed. The petition may be filed with the port director at whose direction the title to the merchandise was vested in the United States. If the party received notice under §127.41(b), the petition must be filed within 30 calendar days after the day on which title vested in the United States. If the party can satisfactorily establish that such notice was not received, the party must file the petition within 30 calendar days of learning of the vesting but not later than 90 calendar days from the vesting.

(c) Evidence required. The petition must show the party's title to or interest in the merchandise, and be supported, as appropriate, with the original bill of lading, bill of sale, contract, mortgage, or other satisfactory documentary evidence, or a certified copy of the foregoing. Also, if applicable, the petition must be supported by satisfactoryproof that the petitioner did not receive notice that title to the merchandise would vest in the United States and was in such circumstances as prevented the receipt of notice.

(d) Payment of claim. If the claim of the owner, consignee, or other party having title to or a substantial interest in the merchandise, is properly established as provided in this section, the party may be paid out of the Treasury of the United States the amount that it is believed the party would have received under 19 U.S.C. 1493 had the merchandise been sold and a proper claim for the surplus of the proceeds of sale been made under that provision (see §127.36 of this part). In determining the amount that may have been payable under 19 U.S.C. 1493, given that the merchandise was not in fact sold at public auction under 19 U.S.C. 1491(a), the appraisement of the merchandise, as provided in §127.41(c), will be taken into consideration. By virtue of the authority delegated to the port director in this matter, any payment made as provided under this paragraph in connection with the filing of a petition under paragraph (b) of this section will be final and conclusive on all parties.

(e) Doubtful claim. Any doubtful claim for payment along with all pertinent documents and information available to the port director will be forwarded to the Assistant Commissioner, Office of Administration, for instructions. The decision of the Assistant Commissioner, Office of Administration, with respect to any petition filed under this section will be final and conclusive on all parties.

[T.D. 02-65, 67 FR 68034, Nov. 8, 2002, as amended by CBP Dec. 12-21, 77 FR 73309, Dec. 10, 2012]



For questions or comments regarding e-CFR editorial content, features, or design, email ecfr@nara.gov.
For questions concerning e-CFR programming and delivery issues, email webteam@gpo.gov.