Verifying Shipments

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By: Dan Cariello

Man distressed on the phoneEach month analysts in the Foreign Trade Division contact freight forwarders, customs brokers, exporters and importers to verify the data elements on import and export records filed with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. This process involves calling the filers to confirm the accuracy of the reported data. At times there is hesitation on the part of filers to provide this information. In order to ensure the accuracy of the merchandise trade balance, it is important that analysts verify the data and correct any errors in a timely manner.

When analysts call to verify a shipment, they are frequently checking on data elements such as:

1. Value and Quantity

-the currency in U.S. dollars

– the dollar amount does not include cents in the total

– the unit of quantity is reported in kilograms, number, or other measure specified in the import or export commodity classification schedule

2. Shipping Weight

– the weight of the commodity is ALWAYS reported in kilograms

– the weight in pounds has been correctly converted to kilograms (2.2lbs=1kg)

3. Schedule B or Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) number

-the commodity is classified according to the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI)

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4 Responses to Verifying Shipments

  1. Peter Beklian says:

    I have a commercial invoice in a foreign currency, the value must be declared in USD, what exchange rate do I use ?

  2. Taylor Cottrell says:

    Above you say that the correct conversion for LBS to KGS is 2.2 but alot of folks use 2.2046. I do not recall the regulations actually stating that it should be coverted using 2.2? Please clarify
    Thanks,
    Taylor

  3. Global Reach Dan says:

    Peter – Assuming you know which foreign currency is reported on the invoice(i.e. Japanese Yen, Euro, etc.), you will need to use a currency converter like the one found on http://www.OANDA.com to find out what the correct conversion would be in USD. Certain European currencies such as the Italian Lira have been replaced by the Euro.
    The link provided has a currency converter you can use:
    http://www.oanda.com/currency/converter/
    I hope this answers your question.

  4. Global Reach Dan says:

    Taylor-Thank you for your concern since this is a technicality that can show a large discrepancy if not reported correctly. According to Appendix M of the AESTIR, the required conversion is stated:
    2.20462262lbs = 1kg
    This conversion is extracted from the Federal Standards 376A, which is used government wide. If the conversion does not affect the shipping weight to the nearest whole number then the smaller conversion factor will do, but when in doubt, be sure to use the entire conversion rate of 2.20462262. Thanks again ad I hope this answers your question. If not, you may want to contact our Rules and Regulations Branch on our call center at 800-549-0595 opt.3

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