CBP Advises on How to Bring Hurricane Maria Assistance
By Caribbean Business on October 3, 2017
SAN JUAN – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued today guidance for individuals and groups interested in bringing merchandise into Puerto Rico to support Hurricane Maria response and recovery efforts.
“It is important to note that the following guidance applies only to merchandise that comes from an international destination,” said Alfonso Robles, Director of Field Operations in Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands.
The guide applies to donations accepted by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) Assistance System Concept of Operation, “IAS CONOPS”, as well as those items donated by charities and other private entities.
Under the “IAS CONOPS ” system, imports authorized by the US Department of State and FEMA are eligible to enter without payment of taxes or duties under United States laws codified under 19 USC 1322 (b) or 19 USC 1318 (b) (2). The requirement of prior electronic transmission may also be waived in these cases.
For goods imported under IAS, the shipping line must submit a cargo manifest containing the following information in writing at the port of entry:
• Input port
• Description of the Goods
• Country of Origin of the Goods
• Destination of Goods
• Certification that the goods were approved for import under IAS
CBP will exempt input taxes for disaster relief by a private or individual group as long as the recipient is a charitable organization recognized and tax exempt.
Private groups or interested individuals must provide a charter on the organization’s official letterhead containing the employer’s social security number (IRS) and a statement that the entity is willing to accept such imported goods.
Any international merchandise that does not meet the criteria above shall be admitted to the territory of the United States under the regular processes of entry and uprising established under CBP regulations.
For more information regarding this procedure, please call the San Juan Area Port at 787-729-6850 or visit their website www.cbp.gov.