liquidation

(U.S. Customs) The final review of a U.S. Customs entry, and determination of the rate of duty and amount of duty by Customs. Liquidation is accomplished by Customs posting a notice on a public bulletin board at the customhouse. An importer may receive an advance notice on Customs Form 4333A “Courtesy Notice” stating when and in what amount duty will be liquidated. This form is not the liquidation, and protest rights do not accrue until the notice is posted. Time limits for protesting do not start to run until the date of posting, and a protest cannot be filed before liquidation is posted.
The Customs Service may determine that an entry cannot be liquidated as entered for one reason or another. For example, the tariff classification may not be correct or may not be acceptable because it is not consistent with an established and uniform classification practice. If the change required by this determination results in a rate of duty more favorable to an importer, the entry is liquidated accordingly and a refund of the applicable amount of the deposited duties is authorized. On the other hand, a change may be necessary which imposes a higher rate of duty. For example, a claim for an exemption from duty under a duty-free provision or under a conditional exemption may be found to be insufficient for lack of the required supporting documentation. In this situation, the importer will be given an advance notice of the proposed duty rate advancement and an opportunity to validate the claim for a free rate or more favorable rate of duty.
If the importer does not respond to the notice or if the response is found to be without merit, duty is liquidated in accordance with the entry as corrected and the importer is billed for the additional duty. The port or district may find that the importer’s response raises issues of such complexity that resolution by a Customs Headquarters decision through the internal advise procedure is warranted. Internal advice from Customs Headquarters may be requested by the local Customs officers on their own initiative or in response to a request by the importer.
Public Law 95-410 (Customs Procedural Reform and Simplification Act of 1978) requires that all liquidations be performed within one year from the date of consumption entry or final withdrawal on a warehouse entry. Three one-year extensions are permitted.
See protest; entry; classification; valuation.

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