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The Goods Processing Fee (MPF) is payable only in the United States. The fees apply to imported foreign goods brought into the United States by foreign and United States companies and apply to formal and informal imports. Formal entrances refer to the importation of products used for commercial sale, while informal entries are products generally used for personal enjoyment.

The costs of handling the goods are applied by the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) as payment for handling goods and monitoring trade compliance. It is applied to goods subject to duties and taxes.

MPF is fairly straightforward to calculate, but there are quite a few conditions attached. This article will explain the ins and outs of MPF so you don’t have to read all the fine print.

How is the MPF calculated?

The fees are ad valorem (depending on value) and is 0.3464% of the value of the imported goods. To calculate it you just need multiply the value of the goods by 0.3464, then divide the result by 100.

For example, the MPF for a shipment valued at $ 8,000 is calculated as follows:

8000 x 0.3464 = 2771.2

2771.2 100 = 27.712

Therefore, the MPF for this shipment is $ 27.71

However, there are a number of stipulations attached to this calculation.

Conditions applied to the MPF

MPF is billed at a flat rate for shipments valued at less than $ 2,500. The value of the MPF for shipments under $ 2,500 depends on the following conditions:

  • If the import is informal, automated and not processed by CBP, the fee is $ 2.
  • If the import is informal, manual, and not processed by CBP, the fee is $ 6.
  • If the import is informal, automated, or manual, but is processed by CBP, the fee is $ 9.

For formal, manually processed imports valued at over $ 2,500, there is an additional $ 3 added to the MPF.

The MPF is payable on the goods at the time of presentation of the commitment summary. The deadline for late payment is 30 calendar days after entry.

If the goods are U.S. agricultural products processed in a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ), the MPF is only calculated from the value of all materials used to make the packaging.

Minimum and maximum MPF charges

For shipments of greatest value over $ 2,500, there is a minimum fee value of $ 26.22 and a maximum fee value of $ 508.70.

In practice, this means that a shipment valued at $ 7,200 has a calculated charge of $ 24.94, but this amount would be rounded to $ 26.22 to reach the minimum charge value. Likewise, calculated fees that exceed $ 508.70 would be rounded down to reach the maximum value of the fees.

Which countries are exempt from the MPF?

Countries that have a free trade agreement with the United States are exempt from the MPF. At the time of writing, this includes the NAFTA countries, Canada and Mexico, as well as other countries including Australia, Israel, Singapore, Korea, the US Overseas Territories and several States of South America.

How can MPF ​​payments be made?

MPF payments can be made to CBP in the following ways:

  • Bank draft
  • Bank check
  • A certified check drawn on a national or state bank
  • U.S. government check, U.S. money order, or domestic travelers check (must provide a valid U.S. driver’s license, passport, or credit card to verify signature if any of these methods are used)
  • Credit card payments are only for non-commercial imports and must be authorized by the Commissioner of Customs
  • Personal checks are accepted to cover the full MPF value

Will not be accepted:

  • Foreign bank checks
  • Travelers checks abroad
  • Commercial bills of exchange

Any uncertified check will only be accepted if there is a bond attached to pay the fees, taxes and duties due.

The face amount of a check or bank draft cannot exceed the MPF value by more than $ 1. The amount paid by U.S. government check, money order, or domestic travelers check must not exceed the amount owed by more than $ 50.

All checks should be made payable to the United States Customs Service. Any bad check will be subject to an additional charge of $ 30, unless the fault lies with the bank rather than the account holder.

Image Credit: Sergio Souza / Unsplash

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