(U.S. Customs) Any of a number of items that an importer provides directly or indirectly, free of charge, or at a reduced cost, for use in the production or sale of merchandise for export to the United States.
Assists are computed as part of the transaction value upon which duty is charged, when the duty rate is a percentage of the value of the merchandise.
Examples of assists are: materials, components, parts and similar items incorporated in the imported merchandise; tools, dies, molds and similar items used in producing the imported merchandise; engineering, development, artwork, design work and plans and sketches that are undertaken outside the United States. Engineering is not treated as an assist if the service or work is: (1) performed by a person domiciled within the United States, (2) performed while that person is acting as an employee or agent of the buyer of the imported merchandise, and (3) incidental to other engineering, development, artwork, design work, or plans or sketches undertaken within the United States. See valuation; transaction value; deductive value; computed value.