Business & Finance

Understanding Enforcement Rules of the Customs Act

Understanding Enforcement Rules of the Customs Act
Images Source: Megan Thompson

Custom laws referred to the set of rules and regulations that are aimed to manage and control the imports of products and goods into the United States as well as the customs duties paid on such goods. The regulatory authority primarily assigned with overseeing and monitoring American customs laws is Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP).

What Is Us Customs and Border Protection Agency?

The US Custom and Border Protection – with over 60,000 employees, is one of the world’s leading law enforcement organizations that aimed at ensuring border management and control, immigration, combining customs, agricultural protection, and border security.

The organization is charged with protecting the US residents, safeguarding borders, controlling and managing trade, commerce, and economic prosperity within the United States. The organizations strive to enhance the nation’s security as a whole through a sophisticated approach of intelligence, innovation, trust, and collaboration.

US CBP Roles and Duties

As a subdivision of the US Department of Homeland security, the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is tasked with monitoring, regulating, controlling, and facilitating import and export, sales, economy, and international trade, enforcing US trade, collecting import duties, customs, enforcing customs rules and immigration regulations across the USA.

Observing its wide scope of responsibilities – with a workforce of over 45,600 federal officers and agents, the organization is undoubtedly the largest law enforcement agency within the US. Although previously the organization was primarily accountable for preventing terrorists from entering the United States, however, it’s also responsible for handling illegal immigration of all kinds. To protect the US’s agricultural, economic and environmental interests the organization is also aimed at preventing the importation of all contraband and illegal drugs into the country.

In addition to that, to ensure the best industry standards and compliance with customs laws and regulations both the CBP and importing & exporting community work together. In carrying out functions, the CBP makes sure that all the entities involved in the import, export, and international trade are all familiar with applicable regulations and laws and work together with them to ensure safeguarding the US consumers from harmful products and items. For this, the organizations ensure that the goods and products that enter the United States are safe, genuine, and lawfully sourced.

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What Are Customs Duties?

Customs duty refers to a tax or tariff imposed on products that are transported across international borders. The core purpose of title 19 U.S.C or customs duties is to safeguard the state’s economic landscape, corporate environment, trade infrastructure, jobs, and more by controlling and managing the flow of imported products most significantly the ones that are prohibited within the country.

What Are the Objectives of Custom Duty?

What Are Customs Duties?

Customs duty is crucial in the development of an overall economy within a country. Thus, customs acts and laws are made to help economies and countries achieve ultimate goals. Below are the ultimate benefits of customs duty for any nation:

  • Customs duty is aimed at providing sustainability, financial security and environmental benefits to the locally operated industries against multinational organizations by charging them a certain amount for a limited period of time.
  • It helps provide an equal and fair opportunity to both parties to help them expand for their market.
  • It helps save foreign exchange.
  • Customs duty promotes the export of a state.
  • It facilitates a society by providing it with a solid source of revenue to run the economy and the country as a whole.

How Much Is Customs Duty in the USA?

The United States imposes “customs duties” or “tariffs” on the importation of products. These duties typically remain around 3% of the value of a good. The customs duty is paid by the importer of the good and levied at the time of import. In addition to that, there are also “duty-free” exemptions, however, they are in rare cases. For instance, if a person is arriving in the US, particular purchases might be exempt from the payment of duty for a limited amount of purchases.

Moreover, in some particular cases, for instance, if the goods are from certain nations of origin, the customs duties or tariff might exceed 3% to more. In some cases, depending upon the factors like the origin of the nation from where the goods have been imported, the customs duty rate might reach 81%. Similarly, in some cases, for instance, if the goods and products are from preferred trading traders might have low or zero customs duty rates.


In case of failure to appropriately comply with customs rules within the US might cost you penalties. It might also include the seizure of imported products as well as criminal and civil penalties against those involved. All the products entering the United States are subject to get registered by the Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP). Anybody who intentionally attempts to hide goods and products might have to face criminal and civil penalties according to the seriousness of the issue and crime.

How to Register for US Customs?

Every trademark owner must have to apply for trademark registration with the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP). It will help the regulatory authority to detain and seize imported products if they breach your recorded trademark. The core purpose is to safeguard the intellectual property rights of every single entity.

To get register with CBP you must:

  • Own a federally registered trademark.
  • Apply for recordation.
  • Pay a certain amount of the application fee.
  • Periodically apply to renew.

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Trademark owners who register with CBP have to provide essential and required information to the department about authorized importers and manufacturers as well as potential unauthorized shipments to help the regulatory authority detain and seize infringing products before they enter the United States.

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