Classification & Valuation Analysis

The accurate tariff classification and Customs valuation of goods are critical elements when importing into or exporting from the US.   Under the Modernization Act of 1993 (MOD Act), the legal responsibility to declare accurate value as well as the appropriate Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States number (HTSUS) number falls upon the importer of record if importing into the US or the Principle Party of Interest if exporting from the US.  Failure to have correct values and classifications may very well result in shipment delays, seizures, penalties, or even possible criminal prosecution.

A few questions to ask yourself:

  1. Is the invoice to be used for entry purposes the same as the commercial invoice and if not, why is that, and what are the differences?
  2. Does the invoice list terms of sale and include all additions to and deductions from the price paid or payable?  
  3. Does the shipment involve related parties, and if so, how was the price as listed determined?    
  4. If there are any deductions for Customs purposes such as freight, insurance, etc., is proof of those costs available and attached?


    1. How was the classification listed on your Customs paperwork determined?
    2. Can you support the classification?
    3. Do you review your classification periodically to verify it is still valid?

    Deringer Logistics Consulting Group works with companies of all sizes to assist them in determining the accurate value of goods as well as the proper HTSUS numbers.  Specialized experts provide guidance on how to factor in:

    • Packing costs, commissions, assists, royalty fees, license fees, and “assists” such as tool and die costs, etc.
    • Freight and insurance deductions, brokerage, and duty deductions, discounts, warehousing costs, loss or damage deductions, and more.
    • The difference in handling a sale, versus a consignment, or barter.  

    Deringer employs a seven step approach to classification to ensure that shipments move across borders timely and in compliance.  The steps may include reviewing legal notes, previously issued Customs rulings, Custom Cooperation Council notes, Customs decisions, examination of Court of International Trade decisions, Customs Co-operation Council nomenclature, and finally, obtaining a binding ruling from US Customs.  We help you choose the proper level of reasonable care for you.

    For more information on how Deringer Logistics Consulting Group can help your company ensure that you are meeting the Reasonable Care standards, as required by the MOD Act, please send an email to or call 518-298-8281.