[Skip to Content]

Robert Stein Reveals How to Use FTZ as an Export Tool at Ohio NEOTEC Seminar

Robert Stein presents "Using FTZ as an Export Tool" at May 15 NEOTEC seminar in Ohio

Come listen to one of MGTA’s best speakers, Robert Stein, Vice President, as he presents at the upcoming Exporting and Foreign Trade Zone Toolbox seminar, hosted by by the Northeast Ohio Trade & Economic Consortium (NEOTEC) and U.S. Commercial Service.

Mr. Stein will be speaking from 2-3pm at the May 12 event in North Canton, Ohio. His topic is “Using the FTZ Program as an Export Tool”.

Other speakers will present on opening global markets, export financing and letters of credit, and the basics of FTZ operations.

Event details

Exporting and Foreign Trade Zone Toolbox Seminar
May 12, 2016, 8:30am – 4:30pm
Kent State University Stark Conference Center, North Canton, OH
Fee: $95 (includes breakfast and lunch)
Registration is open until May 10.

For more information or to register, click here.

For more information about MGTA’s FTZ services, click here.



Manufacturing with Dies and Molds: What’s the Real Cost?

When outsourcing production overseas, U.S. companies will often rely on a foreign vendor to fabricate custom dies and molds to use as part of the manufacturing process. Typically, the vendor will invoice the U.S. buyer separately for the work. Sometimes it’s provided to the buyer at a reduced rate or free of charge. Although this type of billing arrangement may seem beneficial on the surface, especially in terms of convenience, many U.S. importers would be surprised to learn that it’s leading them to undervalue their incoming goods and exposing their company to steep penalties from U.S. Customs & Border Protection.

Plastic parts or components made from molds

Did You Know? By law, duties must be paid on imported goods. They must also be paid on any “assist” that aided in the production of the merchandise [1].

An “assist” is an article or design that meets all of the following criteria.

  • It’s provided by the buyer directly (purchased and shipped to the foreign manufacturer) or indirectly (built to order by the foreign manufacturer).
  • It’s supplied free of charge or at a reduced cost.
  • It’s used in the production of merchandise for export to the United States.

Types of Assists

Assists can take on many different forms, such as

  • tools, dies, molds, and similar items used in producing the imported merchandise
  • materials, components, parts, and similar items incorporated in the imported merchandise
  • merchandise consumed in producing the imported merchandise
  • engineering, development, artwork, design work, plans, and sketches undertaken outside the U.S. and necessary for the production of the imported merchandise

U.S. Customs & Border Protection requires the value of an assist (plus any costs to transport it to the place of production) to be reported as part of the merchandise’s import value [2]. This can be done by

  • reporting the value as a lump sum on the first shipment
  • reporting the value over the number of units produced up to the time of the first shipment
  • prorating the value to the unit cost of the merchandise based on anticipated production [3]

In addition, should the tools, dies, molds, or similar assists undergo subsequent refurbishment, modification, or other improvements, the importer must use one of the apportioning methods above to declare these additional costs as part of the transaction value.

Penalties: A Sobering Reality
Failing to declare the value of an assist is a serious matter in the eyes of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. It’s also easy for the agency to spot, given the sophistication of their monitoring tools. Shipments from any American industry that commonly makes use of molds or dies, such as manufacturers that import plastic products and components, would be watched closely by Customs for indications of an undeclared assist. If Customs expects a violation, they may send the importer a Request for Information (CF28) or worse, a notice for an impending audit. Depending on the veracity of the violation, an importer could face penalties from two to four times the amount of duties, taxes, and fees previously lost by the agency or 20-40 percent of the merchandise’s dutiable value if there was no monetary loss to the agency [4].

When declaring assists, the importer must retain all related records (such as invoices, entry documentation, etc.), as long as the assist is in use, to serve as proof of valuation and proper declaration. Failure to produce records for Customs upon request can result in recordkeeping penalties, which could be up to $100,000 for the most egregious of violations [5].

Stay compliant and avoid unnecessary fines!

For assistance with how to properly value your imported goods, contact Mohawk Global Trade Advisors.


[1] Per 19 C.F.R. § 152.103(b)(1)(iii) (2016).

[2] Per 19 C.F.R. § 152.103(d)-(e)(1) (2016).

[3] If the entire anticipated production is not destined for the U.S., the value needs to be apportioned consistent with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). The value declared in the U.S. should be determined based on the anticipated production destined for the U.S.

[4] Per 19 C.F.R. § 162.73(a) (2016).

[5] Per 19 C.F.R. § 163.6(b)(i)-(ii) (2016).

By Cindi Kavanaugh, Senior Advisor.

Download the White Paper

©2016 Mohawk Global Trade Advisors


Mohawk Global Trade Advisors Expands Presence to Serve Importers and Exporters of Greater Chicago

Adrienne Graddy, local Customs broker, leads MGTA’s Midwest development

Adrienne GraddyITASCA, Ill., April 25, 2016 (PR NEWSWIRE)–Mohawk Global Trade Advisors (MGTA), an international trade consulting firm, announces the addition of Adrienne Graddy to its team.

Following MGTA’s enormous success in the Northeast—requiring it to more than double its staff in the last two years—the firm has focused on expanding its presence to neighboring regions. In her new role as Senior Advisor for MGTA, Adrienne will serve the firm’s growing Midwestern clientele, providing training, guidance, and expertise on U.S. import-export compliance programs, manuals, and other supply chain enhancing initiatives from the Chicago office of parent company Mohawk Global Logistics.

A native to the windy city, Adrienne is a licensed Customs broker and author of numerous trade compliance training programs in use by enterprises across greater Chicago. Her previous experience includes managing the regulatory divisions at several of Chicago’s most prominent businesses, including a Fortune 500 company.

“Few can match Adrienne’s expertise and history of corporate leadership in the Chicago market,” says Bev Seif, Vice President & General Manager for MGTA. “I’m couldn’t be more thrilled to have someone of her caliber serving our clients in the Midwest,” she says.

About Mohawk Global Logistics
Mohawk Global Logistics, the parent company of Mohawk Global Trade Advisors, is a freight forwarder and Customs broker with offices in Illinois, New York, and Ohio. The company is headquartered in Syracuse, NY. For more information, visit www.mohawkglobal.com.

About Mohawk Global Trade Advisors
Mohawk Global Trade Advisors (MGTA) provides import-export compliance consulting, assistance with foreign trade zones, C-TPAT certification services, duty drawback programs, and a variety of supply chain solutions to small and medium-sized businesses across the United States. Its team consists of some of the international business community’s most sought after speakers on topics such as U.S. Customs audits, export controls, and NAFTA. For more information, visit www.mohawkglobalta.com.

Bev Seif
Vice President & General Manager
Mohawk Global Trade Advisors
(315) 552-5477


Twitter LinkedIn

Contact Us.


Our Team

Our staff of licensed advisors have the knowledge and experience to help you solve your toughest supply chain management, international logistics, and domestic transportation challenges.

Our Team

Our Services

Whether you're in international freight, customer service, supply management, distribution management, finance, legal, or other functions, we provide strategies and solutions to make your job easier and your team more effective.

Our Services

Twitter LinkedIn
Contact Us.
Twitter LinkedIn
Mohawk Global Trade Advisors, a division of Mohawk Global Logistics © 2016 | Privacy Policy | Entries (RSS) TwitterLinkedIn
Mohawk Global Trade Advisors, a division of Mohawk Global Logistics © 2016