TOP TEN U.S. TRADE QUESTIONS – #5 Commercial Samples

Continuing in this series of the top 10 FAQs that UKTI receives, we’ll explore the next topic of UK/US trade:

Importing Commercial Samples

The United States Customs & Border Protection (CBP) has developed a comprehensive 20-page document that explains the different methods of importing samples and prototypes into the United States: Importation of Commercial Samples.

For further enquiries and guidance, please contact the office directly:
U.S. Customs & Border Protection
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20229
Customer Service Centre: (001) 703 526 4200

Please see the CBP document regarding the following:

Option 1: Duty Free Consumption Entries – Page 8
“Certain goods may enter the Customs Territory under regular consumption entries but free of duty and quote requirements.  This is the case for very small quantities of three types of samples to be used in the United States for soliciting orders by persons importing such merchandise in commercial quantities.”

Option 2: Temporary Importation under Bond (TIB) – Page 8
“Temporary importation under bond (TIB) is a procedure whereby under certain conditions, merchandise may be entered temporarily into the Customs Territory free of duty by posting a bond.  In the bond the importer agrees to export or destroy the merchandise within a specified time or pay liquidated damages, generally equal to twice the normal duty.”

 Option 3: Carnets – Page 13
“Samples are also eligible to be temporarily imported through the use of a carnet.  The U.S. recognizes two types of carnets under which a sample may be imported temporarily into the U.S.: the A.T.A. Carnet and the TECRO/AIT Carnet.”

 Option 4: Prototypes – Page 15
Please see page 15 regarding how a “prototype” is defined by CBP and the regulations surrounding importation.

Additional Resources:
UKTI has partnered with a United States-based firm to produce a Preparing for a Successful Tradeshow publication, which can be downloaded from the UKTI USA Publications page as an initial guide to entering the U.S.

Exhibiting at a Trade Show

Commercial and Individual Goods

Every situation is unique and may require review on a case-by case basis to ensure compliance.  Please visit the CBP website for the most accurate information to date, in addition to consulting a qualified lawyer for additional guidance.

Countries: United States
Topics: Customs Procedures, Documentation, and Getting Started
Export Action Plan