Congratulations, you’ve successfully transmitted a Duty Drawback claim to U.S. Customs and Border Protection! Whether this is your first claim or just one of many, an accepted claim feels like an accomplishment, especially given the complexity of the Modernized Drawback regulations. At this point, many traders may believe their part is over and it’s time to sit back and collect the refund, right? Well, maybe not. Picture this… while (patiently) waiting for your refund, you receive a CBP Request for Information, also known as a CF28, and a notification letter from a CBP Drawback Specialist that your claim requires additional information to be processed, in the form of a Full Desk Review (FDR) - three words that strike fear into even the most seasoned trade professional. Now what?
First, climb down off the ledge – Tradewin is here to help. An FDR is not uncommon for a first-time drawback claim or if a claim reaches a certain dollar threshold and can even be random. These requests are CBP’s way of ensuring that claims are valid, compliant, and eligible for refund as was intended by the statute. While intimidating, these types of requests are routine and can be dispatched fairly easily as long as you are organized, have proper documentation, and know where to go to get support.
A typical FDR will arrive addressed to the Drawback Claimant with a copy distributed to their broker and/or their drawback service provider and will include a description of the program type (Unused Merchandise, Manufacturing, or Rejected Merchandise), identifying reference numbers, and a detailed list of information being requested by the Drawback Specialist. Some examples of material requested include:
- The methodology used to designate imported merchandise for drawback;
- Copies of import purchase orders and invoices;
- A summary recap sheet that shows all transfers of the designated merchandise from import through export;
- Trace review and proof of export for selected merchandise that tracks the designated merchandise’s movement from import through to export/destruction;
- Copies of export contracts or purchase agreements, or if claimant is not the exporter, copy of assignment letter giving the claimant the right to the drawback.
Read the notices carefully – everything you need to know is contained within. Responses to FDRs are expected within 30 days of the notice date, but a filing extension may be granted “for good cause if requested in writing within the response period noted.” Responses are normally required to be submitted electronically to CBP’s Document Image System or “DIS” and should be thorough and comprehensive. Failure to fully respond as required/requested could result in claim liquidation based upon the information currently on file, which may result in a partial or full denial of your claim.Not sure how to begin? Questions about where to get this information or about Drawback in general? Need help with drafting a response to an FDR? Reach out to Tradewin and our Drawback experts today!