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HQ 114716

February 8, 2000

ENT-1-RR:IT:EC 114716 CC


Area Port Director
U.S. Customs Service
9901 Pacific Highway
Blaine, WA 98230

RE: Application for further review of Protest No. 3004-98-100109; Merchandise Processing Fee; 19 U.S.C. § 58c; Formal Entry; Informal Entry; 19 CFR § 143.22

Dear Sir:

The above-referenced protest was forwarded to this office for further review. We have considered the facts and issues raised, and our decision follows.


The subject merchandise, which consists of cosmetics, was entered on September 15, 1997. The value of the entered merchandise was $1052. A formal entry was made, and a merchandise processing fee of $25.00 was paid. According to the broker for the importer, on February 17, 1998, the broker made a request to Customs to refund $23.00, which is the difference between the merchandise processing fee for a formal and an informal entry for the subject merchandise. The basis of the broker’s request was that the subject merchandise was eligible for informal entry and the importer made a mistake of formally entering the goods under entry type 01. According to the broker, on February 18, 1998, Customs denied the refund request, citing 19 CFR § 143.22. The subject merchandise was liquidated on July 31, 1998. The protest was filed on August 11, 1998.


Whether the subject merchandise is eligible for informal entry and a refund in the difference between the merchandise processing fee for a formal and an informal entry.


The statutory basis for the merchandise processing fee is contained in 19 U.S.C. § 58c. For the merchandise processing fee for formal entries, 19 U.S.C. § 58c(a)(9)(a) provides the amount is 0.21 percent ad valorem. 19 CFR § 24.23(b)(1) provides that the minimum merchandise processing fee for a formal entry is $25. For informal entries, the merchandise process fee is $2 for an automated entry pursuant to 19 U.S.C. § 58c(a)(10).

The protestant claims that the subject merchandise should be allowed to be changed to an informal entry, since its value was less than $1200. At the time the merchandise was entered, the informal entry limit was $1200, although we note that limit was subsequently raised to $2000, effective July 2, 1998, by T.D. 98-28.

Customs initially denied the refund request based on 19 CFR § 143.22, which provides that the port director may require a formal entry for any merchandise if deemed necessary for import admissibility enforcement purposes, revenue protection, or efficient conduct of Customs business. According to the port, the merchandise was subject to laws administered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and at the time of entry required the submission of FDA form 701. Because there are laws of another agency involved and possible admissibility concerns, it was proper for the port to require there be a formal entry, pursuant to 19 CFR § 143.22. This conclusion is consistent with Headquarters Ruling (HQ) 545017, dated August 19, 1994, in which goods subject to laws administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were required to be entered formally pursuant to 19 CFR § 143.22. Consequently, the subject entry is properly a formal entry and no refund in the merchandise processing fee is due.


Pursuant to 19 CFR § 143.22, the subject entry could be required to be entered formally, and therefore, no refund in the difference between the merchandise processing fee for a formal and an informal entry is due.

In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550-065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, you are to mail this decision, together with the Customs Form 19, to the protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry or entries in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing the decision.

Sixty days from the date of the decision, the Office of Regulations and Rulings will make the decision available to Customs personnel, and to the public on the Customs Home

Page on the World Wide Web at www.customs.ustreas.gov, by means of the Freedom of Information Act, and other methods of public distribution.


Jerry Laderberg

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