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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of June 2, 2020

Title 19Chapter IPart 181 → Subpart J


Title 19: Customs Duties
PART 181—NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT


Subpart J—Review and Appeal of Adverse Marking Decisions


Contents
§181.111   Applicability.
§181.112   Definitions.
§181.113   Request for basis of adverse marking decision.
§181.114   Customs response to request.
§181.115   Intervention in importer's protest.
§181.116   Petition regarding adverse marking decision.

§181.111   Applicability.

This subpart sets forth the circumstances and procedures under which exporters and producers of merchandise imported into the United States may obtain information about, and administrative and judicial review of, an adverse marking decision, as provided for in Article 510 of the NAFTA. This subpart does not apply to the review of advance rulings issued under Article 509 of the NAFTA (see subpart I of this part) or to the review of determinations that a good is not an originating good under General Note 12, HTSUS, and the appendix to this part (see part 174 of this chapter).

§181.112   Definitions.

For purposes of this subpart, the following words and phrases have the meanings indicated:

(a) Adverse marking decision means a decision made by the port director or Center director before January 19, 2017, or the Center director on or after January 19, 2017, which an exporter or producer of merchandise believes to be contrary to the provisions of Annex 311 of the NAFTA and which may be protested by the importer pursuant to §514, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1514), and part 174 of this chapter. Notification of an adverse marking decision is given to an importer in the form of a CBP Form 4647, or its electronic equivalent, (Notice to Mark and/or Notice to Redeliver) and/or by assessing marking duties on improperly marked merchandise. Examples of adverse marking decisions include determinations by the port director or Center director before December 20, 2016, or the Center director on or after January 19, 2017: That an imported article is not a good of a NAFTA country, as determined under the Marking Rules, and that it therefore cannot be marked “Canada” or “Mexico”; that a good of a NAFTA country is not marked in a manner which is sufficiently permanent; and that a good of a NAFTA country does not qualify for an exception from marking specified in Annex 311 of the NAFTA. Adverse marking decisions do not include: Decisions issued in response to requests for advance rulings under subpart I of this part or for internal advice under part 177 of this chapter; decisions on protests under part 174 of this chapter; and determinations that an article does not qualify as an originating good under General Note 12, HTSUS, and the appendix to this part.

(b) An exporter of merchandise is an exporter located in Canada or Mexico who must maintain records in that country relating to the transaction to which the adverse marking decision relates. The records must be sufficient to enable Customs to evaluate the merits of the exporter's claim(s) regarding the adverse marking decision.

(c) A producer of merchandise is a person who grows, mines, harvests, fishes, traps, hunts, manufactures, processes or assembles such merchandise in Canada or Mexico.

[T.D. 95-68, 60 FR 46364, Sept. 6, 1995, as amended by CBP Dec. 15-14, 80 FR 61292, Oct. 13, 2015; CBP Dec. No. 16-26, 81 FR 93026, Dec. 20, 2016]

§181.113   Request for basis of adverse marking decision.

(a) Request; form and filing. The exporter or producer of the merchandise which is the subject of an adverse marking decision may request a statement concerning the basis for the decision by filing a typewritten request, in English, with CBP, either at the port of entry or electronically. The request should be on letterhead paper in the form of a letter and clearly designated as a “Request for Basis of Adverse Marking Decision” and shall be signed by the exporter, producer or his authorized agent. The provisions of §174.3 of this chapter shall apply for purposes of signature by a person other than the principal.

(b) Content. The Request for Basis of Adverse Marking Decision letter shall set forth the following information:

(1) The name and address of the exporter or producer of the merchandise and the name and address of any authorized agent filing the request on behalf of such principal;

(2) A statement that the inquirer is the exporter or producer of the merchandise that was the subject of the adverse marking decision;

(3) In the case of a Canadian exporter or producer, the employer number assigned by Revenue Canada, Customs and Excise; in the case of a Mexican exporter or producer, the Federal taxpayer registry number (RFC); and the Customs identification number of an authorized agent filing the request on behalf of such principal;

(4) The number and date of each entry involved in the request;

(5) A specific description of the merchandise which is the subject of the adverse marking decision; and

(6) A complete statement of all relevant facts relating to the adverse marking decision and the transaction to which it relates, including the date of the decision.

§181.114   Customs response to request.

(a) Time for response. The Center director will issue a written response to the requestor within 30 days of receipt of a request containing the information specified in §181.113 of this part. If the request is incomplete, such that the transaction in question cannot be identified, the Center director will notify the requestor in writing within 30 days of receipt of the request regarding what information is needed.

(b) Content. The response by the Center director shall include the following:

(1) A statement concerning the basis for the adverse marking decision;

(2) A copy of the relevant Customs Form 4647 (Notice to Mark and/or Notice to Redeliver), if one was issued to the importer and is available. If the basis for the adverse marking decision is indicated on the Customs Form 4647, or its electronic equivalent, no statement under paragraph (b)(1) of this section is required;

(3) A statement as to whether the importer has filed a protest regarding the adverse marking decision and, if so, where the protest was filed and the protest number; and

(4) A statement concerning the exporter's or producer's right to either intervene in the importer's protest as provided in §181.115 of this part or file a petition as provided in §181.116 of this part.

[T.D. 95-68, 60 FR 46364, Sept. 6, 1995, as amended by CBP Dec. 15-14, 80 FR 61292, Oct. 13, 2015]

§181.115   Intervention in importer's protest.

(a) Conditional right to intervene. An exporter or producer of merchandise does not have an independent right to protest an adverse marking decision. However, if an importer protests the adverse marking decision in accordance with section 514, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1514), and part 174 of this chapter, the exporter or producer of the merchandise which is the subject of the adverse marking decision may intervene in the importer's protest. Such intervention shall not affect any time limits applicable to the protest or delay action on the protest.

(b) Form and filing of intervention. In order to intervene in an importer's protest, as provided for in paragraph (a) of this section, the exporter or producer of the merchandise shall file, in triplicate, a typewritten statement of intervention, in English, with the Center director. The statement should be on letterhead paper in the form of a letter and should be clearly designated “NAFTA Exporter or Producer Intervention in Protest”. The statement shall be signed by the exporter, producer or his authorized agent. The provisions of §174.3 of this chapter shall apply for purposes of signature by a person other than the principal.

(c) Content. The NAFTA Exporter or Producer Intervention in Protest letter shall include the following:

(1) The name and address of the exporter or producer of the merchandise and the name and address of any authorized agent filing the request on behalf of such principal;

(2) In the case of a Canadian exporter or producer, the employer number assigned by Revenue Canada, Customs and Excise; in the case of a Mexican exporter or producer, the Federal taxpayer registry number (RFC); and the Customs identification number of an authorized agent filing the request on behalf of such principal;

(3) The number and date of each entry involved in the adverse marking decision;

(4) A specific description of the merchandise which is the subject of the adverse marking decision;

(5) A complete statement of all relevant facts relating to the adverse marking decision and the transaction to which it relates, including the date of the decision;

(6) A detailed statement of position regarding why the exporter or producer believes the adverse marking decision is contrary to the provision of Annex 311 of the NAFTA;

(7) A statement as to whether a Request for Basis of Adverse Marking Decision was filed under §181.113 of this part, and if so, the date of such Request and of any Customs response thereto issued under §181.114 of this part. Copies of the Request and the Customs response shall be submitted, if available;

(8) The number assigned to the importer's protest;

(9) A statement that the intervenor is the exporter or producer of the merchandise that was the subject of the adverse marking decision being protested by the importer and, if the intervenor is the exporter, a statement that it maintains sufficient records to enable Customs to evaluate the merits of its claim(s) regarding the adverse marking decision; and

(10) If the intervenor prefers that the principle of confidentiality set forth in §181.121 of this part be applied to the information submitted under this section, a statement to that effect. If no such statement is included in the letter, the intervention and information submitted in connection therewith shall be subject to the same treatment as that provided in the case of requests by all interested parties for consolidation of protests as set forth in §174.15(b)(1) of this chapter.

(d) Effect of Intervention. The rights of the intervenor under this section are subordinate to the importer's protest rights. Accordingly, intervention by an exporter or producer of merchandise will not affect the procedures under part 174 of this chapter, and the importer's elections concerning accelerated disposition and application for further review of the protest will govern how the protest is handled and how the intervention is considered. If the importer withdraws or settles the protest, the exporter or producer has no right to continue the intervention action.

(e) Action by Center director. If final administrative action has already been taken with respect to the importer's protest at the time the intervention is filed, the Center director shall so advise the exporter or producer and, if the importer has filed a civil action in the Court of International Trade as a result of a denial of the protest, the Center director shall advise the exporter or producer of that filing and of the exporter's or producer's right to seek to intervene in such judicial proceeding. If final administrative action has not been taken on the protest, the Center director shall forward the intervention letter to the Customs office which has the importer's protest under review for consideration in connection with the protest.

(f) Final disposition. The intervenor shall be notified in writing of the final disposition of the protest. If the protest is denied in whole or in part, the intervenor shall be furnished a copy of the notice given to the importer under §174.29.

[T.D. 95-68, 60 FR 46364, Sept. 6, 1995, as amended by CBP Dec. No. 16-26, 81 FR 93027, Dec. 20, 2016]

§181.116   Petition regarding adverse marking decision.

(a) Right to petition. If the importer does not protest an adverse marking decision in accordance with section 514, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1514), and part 174 of this chapter, the exporter or producer of the merchandise which was the subject of the adverse marking decision may file a petition with Customs requesting reconsideration of the decision. The petition may not be filed until after the importer's time to protest the adverse marking decision has expired (see §174.12(e) of this chapter for the time limits for filing protests). If the importer filed a protest upon which final administrative action has been taken, the exporter or producer may file a petition under this section, provided that the exporter or producer was not given notice of the pending protest pursuant to §181.114 of this part. If the importer filed a protest on which final administrative action has not been taken and notice of the pending protest was not provided to the exporter or producer under §181.114 of this part, a petition filed under this section shall be treated by the Center director as an intervention under §181.115 of this part.

(b) Form and filing of petition. A petition under this section shall be typewritten, in English, and shall be filed, in triplicate, with the port of entry or filed electronically with CBP. The petition under this subpart should be on letterhead paper in the form of a letter, clearly designated as a “Petition for NAFTA Review of Adverse Marking Decision” and shall be signed by the exporter, producer or his authorized agent. The provisions of §174.3 of this chapter shall apply for purposes of signature by a person other than the principal.

(c) Content. The Petition for NAFTA Review of Adverse Marking Decision letter shall contain all the information specified §181.115 of this part, except for the protest number. It shall also include a statement that petitioner was not notified by Customs in writing of a pending protest.

(d) Review of petition—(1) Review by Center director. Within 60 days of the date of receipt of the petition, the Center director shall determine if the petition is to be granted or denied, in whole or in part. If, after reviewing the petition, the Center director agrees with all of the petitioner's claims and determines that the initial adverse marking decision was not correct, a written notice granting the petition shall be issued to the petitioner. A description of the merchandise, a brief summary of the issue(s) and the Center director's findings shall be forwarded to the Director, Tariff Classification Appeals Division, Customs Headquarters, for publication in the Customs Bulletin. If, after reviewing the petition, the Center director determines that the initial adverse marking decision was correct in its entirety, a written notice shall be issued to the petitioner advising that the matter has been forwarded to the Director, Tariff Classification Appeals Division, Customs Headquarters, for further review and decision. All relevant background information, including available samples, a description of the adverse marking decision and the reasons for the decision, and the Center director's recommendation shall be furnished to Headquarters.

(2) Review by Headquarters. Within 120 days of the date the petition and background information are received at Customs Headquarters, the Director, Tariff Classification Appeals Division, shall determine if the petition is to be granted or denied, in whole or in part, and the petitioner shall be notified in writing of the determination. If the petition is granted in whole or in part, a description of the merchandise, a brief summary of the issue(s) and the director's findings will be published in the Customs Bulletin.

(3) Effect of granting the petition. The decision on the petition, if contrary to the initial adverse marking decision, will be implemented with respect to merchandise entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption after 30 days from the date on which the notice of determination is published in the Customs Bulletin.

(e) Pending litigation. No decision on a petition will be issued under this section with respect to any issue which is pending before the United States Court of International Trade, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, or any court of appeal therefrom. Litigation before any other court will not preclude the issuance of a decision on a petition under this section, provided neither Customs nor any of its officers or agents is named as a party to the action.

(f) Judicial review of denial of petition. Any person whose petition under this section has been denied, in whole or in part, may contest the denial by filing a civil action in the United States Court of International Trade within 30 days after the date of mailing of the notice of denial.

[T.D. 95-68, 60 FR 46364, Sept. 6, 1995, as amended by CBP Dec. No. 16-26, 81 FR 93027, Dec. 20, 2016]

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