Anecdotal reports have been surfacing of imported merchandise that has been damaged or destroyed during Hurricane Sandy, either while still in Customs’ custody or after release while stored in warehouses.
Opportunities exist under the Customs laws to potentially recover import duties paid on such merchandise. For example, the Customs laws provide for an allowance in duties upon proof of actual injury or destruction of any merchandise by casualty while in bonded warehouse or the public stores, while in transportation under bond, while in Customs custody or while within the limits of any port.
Similarly, refunds under the drawback laws may be available for goods already released from Customs’ custody. For example, the unused merchandise drawback statute provides for a refund of duties on goods that have deteriorated or that have been damaged after importation (provided that the merchandise has not been “used,” i.e., employed for the purpose for which it was manufactured or intended).
Should your company have merchandise impacted by this issue, please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss the viability of seeking appropriate duty refunds.
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