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713 Treatment of Dutiable Mail at Delivery Office

713.1 Detection and Dispatch of Dutiable Mail

713.11 Detecting Dutiable Items

Postal Service employees will promptly examine all inbound mail to detect dutiable items. Dutiable mail will bear the “Original” and “Addressee Receipt” copies of CBP Form 3419ALT, which are enclosed in an orange adhesive-backed Customs and Border Protection envelope attached to the wrapper or envelope.

713.12 Dispatch to Delivery Units

Dutiable mail will be forwarded promptly to delivery units.

713.2 Delivery of Dutiable Mail

713.21 Delivery Methods
713.211 By Whom Delivered

Dutiable mail will be delivered by city and rural carriers and by window delivery units.

713.212 PS Form 3849, Delivery Notice/Reminder/Receipt

PS Form 3849, Delivery Notice/Reminder/Receipt, is used to notify addressees of the arrival of dutiable mail.

713.22 Delivery Procedures
713.221 Charging Delivery Employee

Charge mail and both copies of CBP Form 3419ALT (see 713.11) to the delivery employee on PS Form 2944, Receipt for Customs Duty Mail, prepared in duplicate. For control and auditing purposes, enter on PS Form 2944 the mail entry numbers as shown on CBP Form 3419ALT. Retain both copies of PS Form 2944 at the Post Office facility as a record of the employee’s accountability.

713.222 Addressee’s Examination of Dutiable Mail

Addressees are not permitted to examine the contents of dutiable mail until the duty has been paid.

713.223 Signing Customs Entry Forms

When customs charges are collected and delivery is made, the delivery employee will follow this procedure:

  1. Obtain the addressee’s signature and date of delivery on the “Original” copy of CBP Form 3419ALT, as well as on PS Form 3849.
  2. If appropriate, the delivery employee will scan/enter the mailpiece barcode and enter the corresponding event code in the handheld or POS ONE scanner.
  3. Sign and date the “Addressee Receipt” copy of CBP Form 3419ALT and give it to the addressee as a receipt for the duty paid.
  4. Turn in the amount collected with the signed “Original” copy of CBP Form 3419ALT and signed PS Form 3849. Turn in any undelivered mail with both copies of CBP Form 3419ALT.
713.224 Clearing Delivery Employee
  1. Post Office facilities with 950 or more revenue units. The carrier’s accountability will be cleared by a clearing clerk, who will complete both copies of PS Form 2944, prepared pursuant to 713.221, and give them to the carrier. The carrier will deposit the original copy of the form in the slotted and locked receptacle provided for that purpose and file the duplicate copy, which he or she will retain for 3 months after the last day of the month of issue. The original copies of PS Form 2944 can only be removed from the locked receptacle by a supervisor or employee other than the clearing clerk, and must be forwarded daily to the chief accountant or other designated employee. Employees at delivery windows who have been charged with dutiable mail will be similarly cleared but, in addition, will be required to execute a new PS Form 2944 covering all dutiable mail remaining in their custody at the close of business.
  2. At other Post Office facilities. The delivery employee’s accountability will be cleared in the same manner as for domestic COD transactions.
  3. PS Forms 3849. Electronic record management sites will dispatch all signed PS Forms 3849 with mail to be forwarded via pouch to the Computerized Forwarding System (CFS) site serving that office. Manual record management sites will file PS Forms 3849 in the consolidated file by the last two digits of the article number.
713.23 Addressee Protests Duty Charged
713.231 Alternatives Available to Addressee

When an addressee objects to the assessed value, rate, or amount of duty charged, the following alternatives are available:

  1. Addressee may take delivery, pay the duty and postal fees, and protest (within 90 days from the date duty is paid) directly to the issuing customs port.
  2. Addressee may definitely refuse the mail if he or she does not wish to pay the duty or to protest the duty assessment.
  3. Addressee may conditionally refuse the mail pending review of the entry by the U.S. Customs Service.

Note: Postal Service procedures for alternatives (b) and (c) are described in 713.232 and 713.233.

713.232 Definite Refusal of Dutiable Mail

If the addressee elects alternative (b) in 713.231, the delivery employee will make it clear to the addressee that the mail will be disposed of immediately as undeliverable. Then the delivery employee will mark the mail Refused, and date and initial it. If appropriate, the delivery employee will scan/enter the mailpiece barcode and enter the corresponding event code in the handheld or POS ONE scanner. Then the delivery employee will return the mailpiece with both copies of CBP Form 3419ALT (see 713.11) to the Post Office facility for disposal (see 713.51).

713.233 Conditional Refusal of Dutiable Mail

If the addressee elects alternative (c) in 713.231, the Postal Service procedure is as follows:

  1. Delivery employee will advise addressee to submit his or her protest in writing to the postmaster. It should be accompanied by any evidence the addressee may have that will substantiate the claim (i.e., invoice, declaration of value, etc.). The addressee should also provide the CBP Form 3419ALT and any other particulars that will assist in relating the protest to a specific item of mail at the Post Office facility.
  2. Delivery employee will mark the mail “ADDRESSEE PROTESTS DUTY,” date and initial the notation, and return the mail with both copies of CBP Form 3419ALT to the Post Office facility to await receipt of the addressee’s written protest.
  3. If the addressee’s written protest is not received within 5 days after the mail has been returned to the Post Office facility, notify the addressee that the mail is on hand and will be held for only 5 more days. Mark the mail “NOTIFIED” and date it. If the addressee does not furnish the required statement within another week, endorse the mail “UNCLAIMED,” and date and treat it as prescribed in 713.3 or 713.5, as appropriate.
  4. On receipt of the addressee’s written protest, the Post Office facility will promptly:
    1. Prepare report, in duplicate, on PS Form 2937, Importer’s Objections.
    2. Forward original of PS Form 2937, with supporting statements and both copies of CBP Form 3419ALT, to the customs mail division where CBP Form 3419ALT was prepared, unless the addressee is located in the vicinity of one of the customs offices listed in 711.62. In the latter case, the original of PS Form 2937, both copies of CBP Form 3419ALT, and the other documents may be sent to the local customs office for consideration of the protest.
    3. Retain the mail with the duplicate of PS Form 2937 and await the decision of the customs office. If the customs office requests that the mail be submitted for inspection, it should be forwarded immediately.
  5. If an adjustment is made by the customs officer, he or she will endorse the adjustment on both copies of CBP Form 3419ALT and return them with the original of PS Form 2937 to the postmaster. When the package is delivered, the delivery employee will collect and report the corrected amount of duty and handle as prescribed in 713.46. If the adjusting customs officer waives the duty, the mail will be reported as an uncollected item, as prescribed in 713.52.
  6. If no decision on a protest is received from the customs office within 30 days, request that the matter be expedited. Continue to hold the mail until a decision is received.
  7. Whenever applicable during this process, the mailpiece barcode should be scanned/entered and the corresponding event code entered in the handheld or POS ONE scanner.

713.3 Forwarding or Returning Dutiable Mail

713.31 Forwarding Dutiable Mail Within the U.S.
713.311 Procedures

Forward dutiable mail as prescribed in 764.1. Allow CBP Form 3419ALT to remain attached to the redirected mail in its original envelope, which is also redirected to the new address.

713.312 PS Form 3849, Delivery Notice/Reminder/Receipt
  1. Manual Record Management Sites: Prepare PS Form 3849 to show the name and address of the addressee, forwarding address, and name of port where the duty was assessed.
  2. Electronic Record Management Sites: Scan/enter the mailpiece barcode and enter the corresponding event code in the handheld scanner.
713.313 Disposition of PS Form 3849
  1. Manual Record Management Sites: File PS Form 3849 with other delivery records.
  2. Electronic Record Management Sites: Send delivery receipts to the appropriate Computerized Forwarding System (CFS) unit.
713.32 Forwarding Dutiable Mail to Another Country
713.321 CBP Form 3419ALT

When dutiable mail is entitled to be forwarded to another country, detach both copies of CBP Form 3419ALT, endorse them “ADDRESSEE MOVED OUTSIDE JURISDICTION OF THE UNITED STATES,” and report the mail as an uncollected item, as prescribed in 713.52. If applicable, scan/enter the mailpiece barcode and enter the corresponding event code in the handheld scanner.

713.322 Procedures

See 764.2 concerning procedures for forwarding mail.

713.33 Returning Dutiable Mail to Sender
713.331 CBP Form 3419ALT

When dutiable mail is to be returned to the sender, detach both copies of CBP Form 3419ALT; endorse them “REFUSED,” “UNCLAIMED,” etc.; and report the mail as an uncollected item as prescribed in 713.52. If applicable, scan/enter the mailpiece barcode and enter the corresponding event code in the handheld scanner.

713.332 Procedures

See 772 for procedures for returning mail.

713.34 Forwarding or Returning Dutiable Mail by Stations and Branches

Postmasters may authorize stations and branches to forward or return mail directly from those units, without sending the mail to the main office.

713.4 Payment of Duty

713.41 Duty Rate Information

Customers desiring information concerning rates of duty or other customs procedures should communicate directly with the nearest customs office (see 711.62) or with:

US CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION
OFFICE OF THE COMMISSIONER
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
1300 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE SW
WASHINGTON DC 20229-0001

713.42 Prepayment of Customs Duty Abroad

No provision is made for the prepayment abroad of customs duty on mail shipments addressed for delivery in the United States.

713.43 Registration of Items to Be Returned to the United States
713.431 Customs Form 4455, Certificate of Registration

Before sending an item abroad for alterations, repairs, use, or replacement, the owner should submit it to a customs officer for issuance of a Certificate of Registration (Customs Form 4455). Otherwise, the package may be subject to a customs duty when it is returned to the United States.

713.432 Certification by Postal Service Personnel

Due to the lack of customs offices in many parts of the country, customers often are unable to have items registered with the U.S. Customs Service before sending them abroad, or are able to do so only after considerable expense and inconvenience. As a service to Postal Service customers, postmasters — or employees they designate — may certify the exportation of items mailed abroad for alteration, repair, use, or replacement under the following conditions:

  1. The customer must live more than 20 miles from a customs office. In addition to those listed in 711.62, there are a number of other customs locations throughout the country. A customer who lives within 20 miles of any customs office must have the item certified by a customs officer.
  2. The customer must present the items to be exported in an open state. The package must be accompanied by an original and duplicate copy of Customs Form 4455, which is completed and signed by the sender, and a customs declaration form(s) appropriate to the class of mail. (See 123 for declaration requirements.) Customers may obtain Customs Form 4455 from any customs office.
  3. The postmaster or designated Postal Service employee must check to see that the description of the item to be exported is the same on both Customs Form 4455 and the customs declaration form. If the description is the same, he or she certifies to the mailing (lading) by completing the “Signature of Customs Officer” space on both copies of Customs Form 4455. A Certificate of Mailing fee (see Notice 123, Price List) must be charged and accounted for by affixing postage stamps to the original and duplicate copies of Customs Form 4455 and canceling each stamp with the Post Office date stamp.
  4. Both copies of Customs Form 4455 must be returned to the customer. The customer must insert the original in the package so that the foreign addressee can return it with the merchandise. The customer should retain the duplicate for possible use in clearing the merchandise upon its return.
  5. After the customer has inserted the original Customs Form 4455, he or she must secure and seal the package and return it to the acceptance employee, who will handle it in the usual manner.
713.44 Return of Audio–Visual Materials

Customs Form 3311, Declaration for Free Entry of Returned American Products and/or Certificates of Exportation, should accompany outbound shipments of educational films sent to foreign addressees on a loan or rental basis. By enclosing Customs Form 3311, the mailer is indicating that the contents of the shipment are eligible for duty–free handling and classification upon reentry into the United States. This procedure is applicable to shipments of educational films valued at $250 or less, which have been produced in the United States and are returned through the mail by foreign consignees. Customs Form 3311 can be obtained at any Customs Service office.

713.45 Assessment of Duty in Foreign Countries

The assessment of customs duty in foreign countries is outside the control of the U.S. Postal Service. Postal Service employees must not attempt to inform customers whether any items — either gifts or commercial shipments — will be subject to customs duty. It may be suggested to customers, however, that they inform the addressee before they mail so that the latter may determine whether those items are dutiable. No provision is made for prepayment of customs duty on mail addressed for delivery in foreign countries.

713.46 Recording and Reporting Collections

Post Office facilities making delivery/collection of dutiable mail must follow the recording and reporting procedures in Handbook F-101, Field Accounting Procedures, subchapter 7-2.

713.5 Treatment of Uncollected Items

713.51 Disposal of Uncollected Items

When it is definitely established that a dutiable package is undeliverable, detach both copies of CBP Form 3419ALT (see 713.11) and treat the package as prescribed in 770. Mark the mail entry forms to show the reason for nondelivery, and report as prescribed in 713.52.

713.52 Reporting of Uncollected Items
713.521 PS Form 2933, Register of Uncollected Customs Charges

Complete PS Form 2933, Register of Uncollected Customs Charges, in duplicate, listing uncollected items in numerical order according to the seven–digit serial number on CBP Form 3419ALT.

713.522 Disposition of PS Form 2933

Forward the original PS Form 2933, with both copies of CBP Form 3419ALT, to the following address:

US CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION
MAIL ENTRY
6650 TELECOM DR sTE 100
INDIANAPOLIS IN 46278-0001

If supporting Customs Form 3342, Declaration for Free Entry of Gifts and/or Authorization to Postmaster to Deliver Mail Importation Conditional Free of Duty, or other statements are necessary, they must be forwarded with the original PS Form 2933 and copies of the CBP Form 3419ALT to the Regional Commissioner of Customs.

713.523 Filing of PS Form 2933, Register of Uncollected Customs Charges

File duplicate PS Form 2933 for reference purposes.

713.524 Reports

Prepare reports as needed, but not less frequently than weekly.

713.53 Past–Due Entries

When the U.S. Customs Service fails to receive a remittance of duty or a report of disposition made of a dutiable package, the postmaster will receive a set of reproduced copies of CBP Form 3419ALT. In this circumstance, a search should be made at the Post Office of address and a report of its findings made to the Regional Commissioner of Customs at the address shown in 713.522.

713.54 Detached Customs Mail Entries

When a detached CBP Form 3419ALT is found, attempt to locate the related package and attach the form to it. If the package cannot be located, send CBP Form 3419ALT to the following address:

US CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION
MAIL ENTRY
6650 TELECOM DR sTE 100
INDIANAPOLIS IN 46278-0001

713.6 Refund of Customs Duty

713.61 Action by Postmaster
713.611 General

Amounts collected on CBP Form 3419ALT are not refundable by postmasters. An addressee who requests a refund of duty should be advised to make application to the customs office that issued the mail entry forms within 90 days from the date the duty is paid. If a refund is claimed for damage, it is suggested that the package be forwarded with the application. Any addressee wishing to abandon the package to the government should so state in the application.

713.612 Addressee’s Request for Refund

If the addressee wishes to request a refund of duty from the Customs Service and intends to file an indemnity claim with the Postal Service, he or she must present the contents, container, and complete wrapping to the postmaster for the inspection in conjunction with the preparation of PS Form 2855, International Claim for Indemnity. Following this inspection, the postmaster accepting the claim will provide the claimant with a statement to the effect that:

  1. The Postal Service has accepted the damage claim and has received the abandoned merchandise;
  2. The package and its wrapper and contents with no commercial value have been presented to and retained by the Postal Service; and
  3. The documents, including the customer’s yellow receipt copy of CBP Form 3419ALT, indicated that customs duty in the stated amount was paid by the customer.

Note: This statement, which is to be provided to the customer by the postmaster, is to accompany the customer’s application to the Customs Service for refund of duty. If this statement accompanies the application, the presentation of the abandoned articles is not required by the Customs Service.

713.62 Refunds by Customs Service
713.621 Refund of Duty on Abandoned Merchandise

A request for refund of duty paid will be considered by the Customs Service when merchandise covered by CBP Form 3419ALT is abandoned, provided:

  1. The abandoned merchandise represents five percent or more of the total value of all merchandise of the same class or kind entered in the invoice in which the item appears.
  2. The abandoned merchandise is delivered to the customs office where the CBP Form 3419ALT was issued within 90 days of the date of delivery (unless the Secretary of the Treasury authorizes a longer time in writing).
713.622 Refund of Duty on Returned Merchandise

The refund of duty paid “less 1 percent” will be considered by the Customs Service when merchandise covered by CBP Form 3419ALT is returned, provided:

  1. The returned merchandise does not conform to the sample or specification, or has been shipped without the consent of the consignee.
  2. The returned merchandise is delivered to Customs Service custody for exportation within 90 days of the date of delivery (unless the Secretary of the Treasury authorizes a longer time in writing).

Note: The addressee must pay the postal charges incident to returning the merchandise to the sender.

713.623 Refund of Duty on Goods Lost En Route

The Customs Service will not refund the duty paid when goods are lost en route after an addressee has paid the customs duty at the Post Office facility and requested that delivery be made at his or her residence or place of business. In addition, the Postal Service does not make any refunds of customs duty.

713.624 Refund of Duty as Drawback on Exported Merchandise

See 580 for drawback arrangements.