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HQ 224015

November 18, 1992

ENT-1-03-CO:R:C:E 224015 JRS


Richard M. Wortman, Esquire
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz & Silverman 12 East 49th Street
New York, New York 10017

RE: Right to Make Entry; 19 U.S.C. 1484(a)(2)(C); Customs Directive No. 3530-02, issued November 6, 1984

Dear Mr. Wortman:

This is in response to your ruling request dated June 10, 1992 (File 92-3102-64(1)I) on behalf of your client, OCS America, Inc. (OCS). Our decision follows.


OCS is a United States distributor of Japanese language newspapers and periodicals and also operates a courier service for the carriage of documents, including business documents, between Japan and the United States. OCS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of its parent company, Oversea Courier Service Co., Ltd. (OCS Japan). OCS acts as a commissioned agent for OCS Japan with respect to the solicitation, importation and distribution of Japanese language newspapers and periodicals throughout the United States. Subscriptions may be solicited by OCS Japan or directly by OCS. In either case, OCS is paid a commission for its services based on a long-term contract between them.

OCS Japan purchases and takes title to all newspapers and periodicals which are to be shipped to the United States. OCS Japan forwards the newspapers on a daily basis in bunches of 500 to 1500. In order to expedite the distribution of the newspapers and periodicals, each newspaper imported by OCS is pre-addressed to the individual subscriber. Upon receipt, OCS will facilitate the delivery of newspapers and periodicals, either by its own conveyance, a common carrier or by mail. Title to the newspapers and periodicals passes directly from OCS Japan to the individual subscribers after importation.


Does OCS Japan or its subsidiary, OCS, qualify as an "importer of record" with the right to make entry in the given situation?


The statutory provision, 19 U.S.C. 1484(a)(2)(C), provides that entry shall be filed either by the owner or purchaser of the merchandise or, when appropriately designated by the owner, purchaser, or consignee of the merchandise, a person holding a valid license under section 1641 of this title (that is, a licensed customs broker). A nominal consignee may designate a customs broker to make entry on his behalf but may not make entry on his own behalf. If a customs broker makes entry for a nominal consignee, the broker must appear as importer of record. These are the only persons who can act as importers of record.

"Owner" or "purchaser" is defined in Customs Directive 3530- 02, dated November 6, 1984, entitled "Right to Make Entry," to be:
any party with a financial interest in the transaction including, but not limited to, the actual owner of the goods, the actual purchaser of the goods, a buying or selling agent, a person or firm who imports on consignment, a person or firm who imports under loan or lease, a person or firm who imports goods for repair or alteration or further fabrication, etc. (Underlining added.) Any such owner or purchaser may make entry on his own behalf or may designate a licensed customhouse broker to make entry on his behalf and may be shown as the importer of record on the CF 7501. The terms "owner" or "purchaser" would not include a "nominal consignee" who effectively, possesses no other right, title, or interest in the goods except as he possessed under a bill of lading, air waybill, or other shipping document.

It is clear that OCS Japan having title to the merchandise upon importation is the "actual owner" of the newspapers and periodicals and has the right to make entry as an "importer of record."

The importer contends that inasmuch as OCS is both a subsidiary and an agent of OCS Japan with respect to the importation of newspapers and periodicals owned by OCS Japan, OCS has the right to make entry in its own name. From the broad construction given to the terms "owner" or "purchaser" in the above-quoted Customs Directive, we conclude that OCS qualifies as an "importer of record" since it falls within the category of "a buying or selling agent" of the directive. OCS acts as an agent for its parent when it sells subscriptions on a continuing contractual basis; does not take title to the imported merchandise; and has a financial interest in the imported merchandise by virtue of its commission earned by soliciting sales of the newspapers and periodicals and in the handling of the merchandise.

Thus, both OCS and OCS Japan may be considered an "importer of record" for entry purposes and, therefore, may be listed as such on the CF 3461 (block 11) and CF 7501 (block 11) and may utilize its IRS, Social Security or Customs-assigned number in block 9 (CF 3461) and block 12 (CF 7501).

We note that when merchandise is imported having been sold, or consigned, to a person in the United States, the name, street address, and appropriate identification number or that person, as provided in section 24.5 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 24.5), shall be shown on the entry documents (CF 3461, 3461 ALT, 7501).


Both OCS Japan and OCS, its subsidiary in the United States, qualify as an "importer of record" with the right to make entry in accordance with Customs Directive 3530-02, dated November 6, 1984.


John Durant, Director

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