It may be possible to deduct various charges “incidental to the international shipment of merchandise” from the FOB Value of imported goods in order to reduce the dutiable value of those goods.

Examples of charges that may be incidental to the international shipment of merchandise if they are paid by  the foreign vendor to the forwarder or carrier and are included in the FOB price:

  • Carrier agent booking fees,
  • Carrier bill of lading fees,
  • Container freight station receiving fees,
  • Documentation fees

The keys to successfully implementing a duty deduction program are

  • To support the deductions with a proper paperwork at the time of entry, and
  • Have the ability to provide more detailed documentation to Customs if requested

Documents that should be provided at the time of entry:

  • Commercial invoice with each deduction listed separately above the “total amount payable” line
  • Through bill of lading**

The importer must be prepared to supply the following upon request by Customs:

  • Invoice from the provider and/or proof of payment by the vendor, showing the actual charges paid by the vendor for the incidental charges
  • If the charges are listed on the through bill of lading as prepaid charges, this should be sufficient

**19cfr152.103(a)(5) states that the charges may be considered incident to the international shipment if “…they occur after the merchandise has been sold for export to the United States and placed with a carrier for through shipment to the United States” (emphasis added)


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