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NEW CUSTOMS PROGRAM TO SPEED IMPORT PROCESS; FIRST IMPORTERS APPROVED FOR PARTICIPATION

 NEW CUSTOMS PROGRAM TO SPEED IMPORT PROCESS;
 FIRST IMPORTERS APPROVED FOR PARTICIPATION
 WASHINGTON, Aug. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- A new Customs program aimed at facilitating the import process and minimizing uncertainty regarding importation requirements -- before cargo arrives at a U.S. port -- is up and running. And for Apple Computer and Roman Company, a midwest jewelry enterprise, the first companies approved for participation in the program, all systems are go.
 San Francisco-based Apple and the St. Louis jewelry company were approved last month for Customs' Pre-Importation Review Program (PIRP), which essentially completes the process of importing goods into the United States prior to their arrival at a port of entry. The goal of PIRP is to resolve classification, valuation and admissibility issues prior to importation. The program will promote uniformity by eliminating differences in Customs treatment of merchandise from port to port and allow complete electronic processing of more importations. PIRP will also lessen post-import requests for information by Customs.
 Customs Assistant Commissioner (Commercial Operations) Sam Banks called Apple and Roman "pioneers in the truest sense of the word," and said he expects other importers to follow suit when Apple and Roman Company begin to harvest the benefits of PIRP.
 The program provides two pre-importation review approaches -- Pre-Classification and Pre-Approval -- allowing Customs to extend PIRP bn?efits to all segments of the importing community. Apple Computer and Roman Company have met the requirements for Pre-Approval. Under this approach, Customs evaluated the companies' procedures and methods for determining product classifications. Customs found Apple and Roman sufficiently familiar with classifications principles and approved their participation in the program.
 Pre-Approval will be used primarily for importers who have inventories that do not lend themselves to an item-by-item review because of volume, rapid turnover, or product diversification.
 Apple and Roman will each be assigned a pre-approval indicator, or code, which will apply to products which were part of their inventories at the time of pre-approval review as well as to products of the same type.
 The Pre-Classification approach will be applied to importers whose inventories lend themselves to item-by-item review by Customs import specialists who will propose product classifications. The importer will then receive a binding ruling from Customs for those items reviewed.
 "The benefits to participate in PIRP will be apparent," Banks said. "Importers can expect increased uniformity and predictability in Customs processing of merchandise at all ports of entry, as well as accelerated cargo release and import processing, and where appropriate, electronic processing."
 -0- 8/18/92
 /NOTE: Banks will address a meeting of the San Francisco Customs Brokers & Freight Forwarders Association tomorrow, Aug. 19, at the Hyatt Regency, 1333 Bayshore Highway, Burlingame. The program begins with an 11:30 reception followed by a lunch at noon.
 /CONTACT: Steve Duchesne of the U.S. Customs Service, Office of Public Affairs, 202-927-2206/ CO: U.S. Customs Service ST: District of Columbia IN: SU:


KD-TW -- DC010 -- 1008 08/18/92 13:57 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 18, 1992
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