Increased Marking Notices for Importers – How to Stay Compliant

Trade Update • June 19, 2024

Marking - Country of Origin

n recent months, there has been a noticeable rise in the number of marking notices received by importers, whether new or seasoned. This update highlights current marking requirements and provides insights into common scenarios leading to these notices. By understanding the regulations and ensuring compliance, importers can avoid potential notices, penalties and disruptions.

Country of Origin Marking

Country of origin marking is a critical aspect of U.S. import regulations. According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the purpose of these markings is to inform the ultimate purchaser in the United States about the country where the goods were manufactured or produced. Proper marking helps in maintaining transparency and enables consumers to make informed decisions.

For detailed guidelines on marking requirements, refer to the CBP Informed Compliance Publication on Marking of Country of Origin on U.S. Imports and the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 19, Part 134.

Common Scenarios Leading to Marking Notices

Offshore Origin Goods and Marking Exceptions

One common scenario involves goods originating from offshore locations such as China (CN) or India (IN). While these goods may be eligible for exceptions to the marking requirements under 19 CFR 134.32, it is crucial to note that such exceptions do not extend to the outermost container of the goods. Importers must ensure that the outermost container is appropriately marked with the country of origin, even if the goods themselves are exempt.

Goods Imported Through Canada

Another frequent issue arises with Canadian entities who import goods from offshore into Canada and then sell and ship them into the U.S. Often, these goods enter Canada unmarked and are further shipped to the U.S. without proper marking. CBP has been diligent in catching such instances, leading to an increase in marking notices for these shipments.

It’s essential for importers to understand that the possible lack of marking compliance in Canada does not exempt them from U.S. requirements. When goods are shipped from Canada to the U.S., they must meet all U.S. marking regulations to avoid penalties.

Steps to Ensure Compliance

To avoid receiving marking notices, importers should:

Review and Understand Regulations:
Familiarize yourself with the CBP guidelines and the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 19, Part 134.

Properly Mark Outer Containers:
Ensure that the outermost container of imported goods is marked with the country of origin, even if the goods themselves are eligible for a marking exception.

Coordinate with Suppliers:
Communicate marking requirements to suppliers, especially when dealing with offshore goods. Ensure that goods imported through other countries, such as Canada, are marked according to U.S. regulations before shipment.

Regular Audits and Compliance Checks:
Conduct regular audits of import shipments to verify compliance with marking requirements. This proactive approach can help identify and rectify issues before they result in CBP notices.

By following these steps and staying informed about marking regulations, importers can minimize the risk of receiving marking notices and ensure a smoother import process. For more detailed information, refer to the comprehensive resources provided by the CBP, such as their Informed Compliance Publications.

Ensuring marking compliance not only helps in avoiding notices but also builds trust and transparency with Customs and your Customs Broker(s), ultimately contributing to seamless importations.

For questions or concerns about marking requirements please contact us.


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