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U.S. Made Goods Returned – Not Always Duty Free

Stamp: Made in USA
Goods manufactured in the United States that have been previously exported and are now returning require a formal declaration called American Goods Returned (AGR) also referred to as U.S. made Goods Returned (USGR).

Common mistake made by importers

Do not assume that the return of goods to the United States will be without some difficulty. A common mistake that importers make when declaring U.S. goods is that they do not know where the products were manufactured. Just because the product was purchased in the United States it doesn’t necessarily mean it was manufactured in the United States.

U.S. Goods Returning are usually eligible for duty-free status

All goods are subject to duty every time they enter the U.S. unless they are specifically identified as duty exempt. Did you know U.S. goods returning to the United States are usually eligible for duty-free treatment? The provision 9801.00.10 in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule allows U.S. made products to return to the U.S. without being subject to duty and the Merchandise Processing Fee. However, the provision stipulates the goods cannot be advanced in value or the condition of the goods improved while abroad.

Example 1: U.S. Manufactured Helicopter Sent to Canada for Repairs

For example, say you are the owner of a helicopter manufactured in the USA. The helicopter has electrical problems and you send it to a repair shop in Canada. When the helicopter returns the value of the repairs may be subject to duty.

American Goods Returned - Example 1


Example 2: Canadian Company Purchases Goods from the U.S.

American Goods Returned - Example 2

Another example would be goods purchased from the U.S. by a Canadian company. They received their shipment and the goods were refused by the buyer because they did not meet their product specifications. The goods can be returned to the U.S. duty free if the proper documentation can be supplied to U.S. customs.


Documentation required for U.S. Goods Returning duty free:

The most common proof is a Manufacturer’s Affidavit. Like the name implies, this form is completed by the actual manufacturer of the goods. U.S. customs requires this for any shipments that are valued over $2500 and if the articles are not clearly marked with the name and address of the manufacturer.

The affidavit must:

  • State that the goods are a product of the USA
  • Be on the U.S. manufacturer’s letterhead and
  • Signed by an employee from the U.S. manufacturers facility that has the authority to sign on behalf of the company.

As supporting proof of U.S. Goods returning, U.S. Customs also requires:

  • Foreign Shipper’s Declaration and
  • Declaration by Owner, Consignee or Agent

At some U.S. ports of entry, Customs will accept a NAFTA Certificate that is completed by the manufacturer.

Next time you get ready to ship U.S. goods remember it is not always as easy as it seems. Be sure to supply the proper paperwork to support your duty free return!


Do you have questions about U.S. Goods Returning? Drop us a comment or question below or email us at Ask Your Broker.


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Join Us for the Export-Import Virtual Trade Show

EXPORT-IMPORT-VIRTUAL-TRADESHOWAre you looking to start an exporting or importing business? Or considering expanding your business to new markets through trade? Don’t miss this unique opportunity to network with BC’s best trade experts!


What: The Export-Import Virtual Trade Show

Where: Comfort of Your Own Office – Online

When: Thursday, April 18, 2013

Time: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (PST)

Registration: Free of Charge

Event Registration: Visit Registration Page


Join us online to network with over 20 organizations that can help your business:

  • Discover your global potential
  • Define your trade strategy
  • Determine your sales and sourcing strategy
  • Obtain financing
  • Strategize logistics and understand regulations
  • Understand the legal and tax implications of trade


The Export-Import Virtual Trade Show will be a day of live educational trade webinars and a virtual trade show, including public and private organizations that will help you expand your business internationally. Experts will be available through live chat and webinar  from the comfort of your own office. Registration is free, courtesy of

Pacific Customs Brokers is proud to participate in:

  1. Exhibiting at the Export-Import Virtual Trade Show from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00  p.m (PST). Register online today!
  2. Presenting a live educational trade webinar on ‘Customs and Shipping Across International Borders’. We strongly encourage you to register and send us your questions live on April 18th, 2013.


We welcome you to take of advantage of this fantastic opportunity to expand your knowledge and explore new markets. See you at this first-of-its-kind virtual trade show!

Have questions about the Export-Import Virtual Trade Show? Leave them in our comments section below or email Ask Your Broker.