U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has issued a final rule, effective March 17, 2011, to finalize its regulations that eliminated the textile declaration and added new Manufacturer Identification Code (MID) requirements for textiles and apparel. The final rule adopts the October 2005 interim rule, which excluded personal-use shipments from the MID requirement, and limited the MID requirement for textiles and apparel outside of Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) Section XI to those within category numbers.

Elimination of Textile Declaration

The primary regulatory change consists of the elimination of the requirement that a textile declaration be submitted for all importation of textile and apparel products. This action was taken primarily to reduce the paperwork burden on importers and is consistent with the movement toward paperless entries. As stated previously, this rule change was already contemplated in the interim rule of 2005.

Personal-Use Shipments

In addition, the final rule declares that all personal-use shipments subject to formal or informal entry procedures will be excepted from the MID requirement in 19 C.F.R. § 102.23(a), while all commercial shipments, whether covered by formal or informal entries, will continue to be subject to this requirement. Although this change does not go as far as some importers would have hoped, i.e., eliminating the MID requirements for all informal entries, it clarifies the interim rule by creating separate treatment for personal use and commercial importations of textiles and apparel goods.

MID Requirement Limitation

In the final rule, CBP clarified the language in 19 C.F.R. §102.23 limiting MID requirements to HTSUS Section XI products and those with three digit textile category assignments. This change benefits textile products outside of the scope above, such as umbrellas, seat belts, parachutes, watchstraps, and doll clothing.

Textile and apparel importers should review the final rule, and assess how it will impact their MID requirements.