Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF) Explained

{This blog post was last updated November 21, 2017}

USDSo you have just cleared your first shipment into the U.S. and the prospects for increasing exports to the U.S. are high; your business plan is coming together.

Upon receipt of your first invoice from your U.S. Customs Broker you notice an additional charge that does not equal the original expenses you had expected. When you inquire, the U.S. Custom Broker explains that every shipment into the U.S. is subject to a Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF). Thankfully your first shipment was low value and the MPF was only $25.67.

So what can you expect for future shipments?

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has been collecting the MPF for years. Recently the fees increased. According to the Federal Register, the calculation rate used to determine the amount owing will remain unchanged, however the minimum will increase to $25.67 to a maximum of $497.99.

How do I calculate MPF?

The easiest way to calculate the amount of MPF you will be charged on your imports into U.S. is to follow this formula:

  • For every $7200 of merchandise value you will pay $25.67 MPF
  • You will never pay less than $25.67 for formal entries (informal entries valued under $2500.00 are subject to a $2.05 MPF)
  • You never pay more than $497.99 (in order to reach this maximum a shipment value of $140,000 is required)
  • Lastly, if your goods qualify for any special trade programs, the MPF may very well be exempt

For more information contact us to check if MPF will be applicable on your imports.

Do you have questions around the Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF)? Leave them in our comments section below or email us at Ask Your Broker.


4 Responses to “Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF) Explained”

  1. Brian says:

    Are there any instances when the importer pays more than the maximum fee of $485? If so, how can this happen and also what happens to the extra money that was paid to the CBP?

    • Aimee Miller says:

      Hello Brian! There should never be an instance where you would pay more then the maximum fee of $485.00 on a single shipment. The only instance that I can think of where this could possibly happen would be a computer glitch where the MPF did not calculate correctly. That being said we have never seen this happen on any of our clearances but it would be wrong for me to assume that this has never happened to another company. If U.S. Customs were to collect the incorrect amount for the MPF you could submit a refund request and your money would be refunded.

  2. Mike Kyser says:

    Does the MPF apply to US goods returned for repair, HTS# 9801.00.1012? The commercial invoice lists the value of the return as $196,000.00.
    Please advise where I can find the supporting documents of your answer.

    Thank you in advance.

  3. Brian, This should never happen with MPF. Even for FTZ weekly entries, the max is (was) $485. As of Jan 1, 2018 it jumped to $497.99 but still that’s the max.

    However, if you see a higher amount on the 7501 for block 39, it means that you have other fees they have added to the MPF such as HMF (harbor maintenance fee) for imports via sea transportation. Other imports may be subject to other fees and or taxes and be added to the 39 block also.

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