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'Jewelry shipped from India - Liability to customer'

'Jewelry shipped from India - Liability to customer'

Jeweler from India duping customers in USA by exposing them to customs duties and penalties.

A jeweler from India has been quiet active in the US in the recent past and has been duping customer by exposing them to customs duties and penalties.

The modus operandi here is to book sales at shows, collect payment for jewelry and ship the actual jewelry directly from India to the customer’s residence. What’s funny is that this jeweler actually collects GST (Indian tax) on a product the customer is paying for and buying in the US.

It all looks good on the face of it, but a big step in the import process is being skipped, which is declaration of the value of the goods and payment of duties.

In an ideal world along with the shipment a declaration of the value of the goods being imported is provided and CBP would impose an appropriate Customs duty and Internal Revenue Service tax (IRT), which the recipient would pay at the time of receipt of goods.

At times CBP tracks the declared value and the homogeneous code (HS code) of the items being imported and sends an invoice to the recipient later on, this could at times take as long as a year. If the declarations are incorrect penalties on top of the duties could be applied.

Every day, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers stop, examine, detain, and seize merchandise from both travelers and couriers. Should your package be seized, the process of getting back your property can be daunting. Once the merchandise is seized, the file is forwarded by the U.S. Customs officer to the Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures Office (FP&F).

Packages entering the United States from abroad first arrives at a courier’s Sorting Facility in this case FedEx or UPS. The courier service then sends packages to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for examination and to assess duties and taxes, if any is owed.

If the declarations are found to be incorrect or suspicious, packages can be detained or seized and the recipients address will be flagged and might receive additional scrutiny in their shipments going forward.

CPB officers could question or ask the recipient to provide details of the goods being imported. If the details could not be verified, it could result in seizure of the goods and further action.

In the above case the jeweler shipping the goods from India is probably doing it by the rules in India, which only pertain to the portion of exporting the jewelry from India. His liability ends there.

The liability of providing accurate information of the goods being imported, paying the duties rests on the recipient. Each and every recipients’ package might not be inspected by CBP, but CBP does track the declared value of the packages being imported and sends duty bills to recipients.

The increased activity of Jewelers coming from India, hand carrying millions of dollars’ worth Jewelry into the country and on occasions not declaring the details of the goods being imported into the country, has gained attention of the CBP.

There have been a number of incidents where people of Indian origin have been questioned at port of entry by CBP officers about the value of the goods being imported.

For an individual travelling with family it is very important that they pay attention to what they put in the customs declaration form when entering the country.

Giving incorrect information on this form or lying to CBP officer is perjury and could result in serious penalties including jail time, deportation and denaturalization.

Pratik Shah
[email protected]


Tags: jewellery