In the Old Days, when merchandise arrived on a ship, it would go straight to a Customs warehouse.
There it would sit until Customs was able to classify the merchandise, appraise the value, and confirm its admissibility. . When this was done, you were given a bill and could pick up your merchandise when the bill was paid.
Today, when your merchandise arrives, you provide Customs with minimum information on the merchandise at the time of arrival, post bond, and in most cases you can pick up your product as fast as the carrier can make it available.
A short time later you file entry and pay “estimated” duties.
As an importer, you are legally responsible to use “Reasonable Care” to file the entry correctly and pay the correct amount of duties.
Customs keeps the entry open or un-liquidated for a period that is usually 314 days after entry is submitted.
Very few shipments are inspected.
Customs analyzes and verifies entries through Post Entry Audit procedures. In most cases their actions go unnoticed by the importer.
Sometimes they will request information from the importer about the transaction related to the customs entry.
In their audit process, they may request countless documents including Purchase Orders, Receiving Tickets, Merchandise Samples, Laboratory Analysis Results, Payment Receipt, and much more.
This information is requested through Requests for Information issued on a Customs Form 28.or CF28. In rare cases Customs may call or visit the importer or other party related to the transaction.
If Customs research leads them to determine that an entry should be changed and liquidated differently than it was entered, they will issue a Customs Form 29, Notice of Action or cf29. This will document the changes they intend to make on the entry so you will know what will occur at liquidation.
In most cases the entry will be liquidated at 314 days, if changes are made you will receive a bill or sometimes a refund and at that point, your potential liabilities on subject merchandise will be resolved.
The Importer can also request changes prior to liquidation in the ACE system through a process called Post Summary Correction (PSC). If too much duty was paid, changes can be made that will initiate a refund. If not enough duty is paid and the importer is aware of it, they are required to change the entry and remit additional duties.
If you need more information on Post Entry, please contact Los Angeles Customs Brokers.