Gene Mack, Licensed Customs Broker
Los Angeles


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110 E. Wilshire Avenue
Suite G11
Fullerton, CA 92832
Fax: 714-447-0289
E-Mail Los Angeles

Liability for Duties

There is no provision under which U.S. duties or taxes may be prepaid in a foreign country before exportation to the United States. This is true even for gifts sent by mail.

In the usual case, liability for the payment of duty becomes fixed at the time an entry for consumption or for warehouse is filed with Customs. The obligation for payment is upon the person or firm in whose name the entry is filed. When goods have been entered for warehouse, liability for paying duties may be transferred to any person who purchases the goods and desires to withdraw them in his or her own name.

Paying a customs broker will not relieve the importer of his or her liability for customs charges (duties, taxes, and other debts owed Customs) should those charges not be paid by the broker. Therefore, if the importer pays the broker by check, he or she should give the broker a separate check, made payable to "U.S. Customs Service" for those customs charges, which the broker will then deliver to Customs.

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