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Camelot Recovers Nearly $50,000 in Duty Overpayments For Importer

Customs brokers will tell you (and so will Customs), that they’ll gladly accept more duty if a classification is incorrect. Problems often arise, however, when customs is not paid enough.

For an importer of motors, Camelot found that they were giving Customs too much money and found a way to secure a large refund on their behalf.

When classifying motors, the classification is determined by the wattage at which the motor ceases to operate rather than what it is rated for. The duty rates on motors are also on a sliding scale; the higher the motor is rated (in wattage), the lower the duty rate.

This importer was classifying these motors with the tariff number for where the motors were being used. However, the motors actually had a higher tolerance. High enough, it turns out, to move them into the next classification at a lower duty rate.

We immediately queried all the unliquidated entries; the entries which we could successfully write to Customs and request a refund. We filed a protest with Customs on the importer’s behalf, providing them as well with sample motors to substantiate our claim. The results of Customs’ testing matched that of the importer; the motors could withstand a greater load and should be classified elsewhere at a lower duty rate.

The result for them? Camelot hand-delivered them a stack of checks from the government made out in their name with refunds totaling nearly $48,000.

Complacency is rampant in our business. Information isn’t current. Turnover is high. At both importers and Customs brokers, people move in and out of positions who might not have all the tools to do their jobs. Camelot’s demonstrated history with our experienced staff is in helping importers and exporters save time and money throughout the supply chain while meeting the regulatory requirements of the agencies with whom they work.