I have a question I think is pretty simple and I have the logical answer. Should I assume my answer is right?
NO. NO. And NO.
In general, the answers to seemingly simple questions involving any governmental, regulatory agency are not always logical or clear-cut. In particular, the answers to questions involving Customs issues are often not logical using normal business principles nor in line with industry standards. You should never assume that what seems to be a common sense answer to any question involving the import (or export) process is correct.
There are times industry definitions of a product or process (of which you may be very familiar, or even an expert) are very different from the Customs definition of the very same product or process. Sometimes they are the same, but you should never assume this is always the case. That assumption can be very costly; we have seen it happen a number of times. This is another case where you should contact your Customs broker (CHB) BEFORE you make any decisions or assumptions.
You are probably getting tired of hearing us push you to always call your CHB but if we did not keep doing so, we would be betraying the trust you place in us and, what we consider our duty and responsibility to you. Those few minutes you will spend talking with your broker can save you many headaches and significant resources. We believe this is just part of the service you already pay for at C J.
You are the reason we exist. We will always strive to protect you to the best of our ability. While we are your vendor, we always consider ourselves your partner in making your business as profitable and hassle-free as possible. We’ve seen clients go through unnecessary and costly problems with Customs; we don’t want to see that happen to you. The stronger you are, the stronger we are.
Call your CHB or call us. Samya (Sam) Murray is C J’s Compliance Officer. She is a founding partner in C J, a licensed CHB, and is very well versed in all aspects of the import (and export) process. There is never any charge or obligation for a general question; the only time we charge for Sam’s time is if you have a project that requires significant time and research. Take advantage of her experience and expertise. On the one hand, you may find you were right all along. On the other hand, the ten or fifteen minutes you spend talking to her could add up to a significant savings in additional time and money.