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1) What exactly is Drawback?

According to U.S. Customs, Drawback is the refund of Customs duties, certain Internal Revenue taxes, and certain fees that have been lawfully collected upon importation of merchandise. The refund is administered after the exportation or destruction of the imported merchandise and is intended to create jobs in manufacturing and encourage international commerce. There are three major types of drawback.

  • Unused Merchandise Drawback: Drawback on merchandise that is imported into the U.S. and is exported in the same condition that it arrived.
  • Manufacturing Drawback: Drawback on merchandise that is imported into the U.S. and used to manufacture an article that is subsequently exported or destroyed.
  • Rejected Merchandise Drawback: Drawback on merchandise that is imported and exported/destroyed because it does not conform to specifications or was imported unintentionally

2) How long does it actually take to receive a drawback refund from U.S. Customers?

The answer varies greatly—depending on whether a company is already filing drawback or is just starting a drawback program. If a company is already filing and chooses to automate with Drawback.NET, the time frame can be much shorter. Experienced filers will generally be able to create a claim within the first week or two of installing the System, file it and receive a refund within approximately a month (from installation).

If a company is new to drawback, they will need to apply to Customs for their privileges. Privileges include the Accelerated Payment Request and the Waivers for both prior and future Notice. Once the completed applications are submitted, it can take 3 to 6 months for approval. If manufacturing is involved and a Ruling can be submitted to a drawback center rather than Customs Headquarters in DC for processing, this may take approximately 3 months. Once approvals are received, checks may be issued approximately 6 to 8 weeks after a drawback claim is filed.

3) How much is the drawback refund, and when will I receive payment?

Up to 99% of duties paid on imported goods may be refunded. The Accelerated Payment privilege allows the claimant to receive payment of estimated drawback when the claim is filed and before the entry has liquidated. It is typical for a claimant to wait more than a year for a claim to be liquidated and be paid the drawback in absence of this privilege. With this privilege, payment of claims may be paid as quickly as three weeks if submitted by ABI.

4) How much do drawback services typically cost?

Service fees vary depending on the types of drawback, the data that you are working with and the amount of duty recovery. For a service quote, please complete our Evaluation Questionnaire and we will provide you with a fee estimate.

  • “It is extremely user friendly, there is virtually no comparison with other systems. The people at Dutycalc Data Systems know the subject and their product reflects it. They are very accessible and responsive to any problems that may arise for clients. Having worked for the U. S. Customs Service New York drawback office for more than 20 years, retiring as a Supervisory Drawback Specialist/Liquidator, I have a background in seeing a wide range of claim filings from various sources. As a licensed Customs broker, I have seen other systems function. My choice is Drawback.Net. It is head and shoulders above any others.

    Tom Ferramosca
    President - American Drawback Services
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