19 CFR § 19.36 - Requirements for duty-free store operations.

§ 19.36 Requirements for duty-free store operations.

(a) Withdrawals. Merchandise withdrawn under the sales ticket procedure in § 144.37(h) of this chapter may be delivered only to individuals departing from the customs territory for exportation or to persons and organizations for use as specified in subpart I, part 148, of this chapter. Withdrawals of other kinds may be made from Class 9 warehouses, but only through separate withdrawals (or withdrawals under blanket permit for vessel or aircraft supplies) under an approved permit of the port director as provided in § 144.39 of this chapter.

(b) Procedures required. Each duty-free store must establish, maintain, and follow written procedures to provide reasonable assurance to the port director that conditionally duty-free merchandise purchased therein will be exported from the customs territory. A copy of any change in the procedure will be provided to the port director before it is implemented. However, receipt by CBP of the procedures of any change thereto must not be construed as approval by CBP of the procedures. The port director is responsible for ensuring that each enterprise has established guidelines with CBP and is complying with those guidelines, giving assurance that proper supervision exists when delivery is made to the purchaser at or before the exit point. The port director may at any time require any change in the procedures deemed necessary for assurance of exportation.

(c) Personal-use restrictions. Any duty-free store which delivers conditionally duty-free merchandise to purchasers at an airport exit point must establish, maintain, and enforce written restrictions on the sale of conditionally duty-free merchandise to any one individual to personal-use quantities. Personal-use quantities means quantities that are only suitable for uses other than resale, and includes reasonable quantities for household or family consumption as well as for gifts to others. Proprietors will not knowingly sell or deliver conditionally duty-free merchandise in any quantity to any individual for the purpose of resale. A copy of the restrictions and of any change thereto must be provided to the port director prior to implementation. However, receipt of the written restrictions by CBP will not be construed as approval by CBP of the restrictions. The port director may require any change in the restrictions deemed necessary to conform to the personal-use quantity restriction of this section.

(d) Reimported merchandise. Merchandise purchased in a duty-free store is not eligible for exemption from duty, or tax where applicable, under chapter 98, subchapter IV, Harmonized Tariff Schedule, if it is brought back to the United States after exportation. To enforce this restriction, the port director may require the proprietor to mark or otherwise place a distinguishing identifier on individual items of merchandise to indicate the items were sold in a U.S. duty-free store, if a pattern is disclosed in which such items are being brought back to the United States without declaration. A pattern of undeclared reimportations means a number of instances over a period of time and not isolated instances of unrelated violations. Any such marking required by the port director will be inconspicuous to the purchaser and will not detract from the value of the merchandise. The marking requirement will be limited to the items or types of merchandise noted in the pattern, and will not be extended to all merchandise of the responsible store proprietor unless all or most items are part of the pattern.

(e) Merchandise eligible for warehousing in duty-free stores (Class 9 Warehouses) -

(1) In general. Conditionally duty-free merchandise and other merchandise (domestic merchandise and merchandise which was previously entered or withdrawn for consumption and brought into a duty-free store (Class 9 warehouse) for display and sale or for delivery to purchasers can be warehoused in a duty-free store (Class 9 warehouse), but the conditionally duty-free merchandise and other merchandise must be physically segregated from one another, unless one of the following exceptions apply.

(2) Marking exception to physical segregation. Merchandise may be identified or marked “DUTY-PAID” or “U.S.-ORIGIN”, or similar markings, as applicable, to enable CBP officers to easily distinguish conditionally duty-free merchandise from other merchandise in the sales or crib area.

(3) Electronic inventory exception to physical segregation. If the proprietor has an electronic inventory system capable of immediately identifying conditionally duty-free merchandise from other merchandise, the proprietor need not physically separate conditionally duty-free merchandise from other merchandise or mark the merchandise.

(f) Sale of merchandise. Conditionally duty-free merchandise for exportation at airport or seaport exit points may be sold and delivered only to purchasers who display valid tickets, or in the case of chartered or for-hire flights that have not issued tickets, other proof of impending departure from the customs territory, and to crewmembers who have been engaged for a flight or voyage departing directly from the customs territory with no intermediate stops in the U.S.

(g) Inventory procedure. Duty-free store proprietors must maintain, at the duty-free store or at another location approved by the port director, a current inventory separately for each storage area, crib, and sales area containing conditionally duty-free merchandise by warehouse entry, or by unique identifier where permitted by the port director. Proprietors must assure that CBP has ready access to those records, and that the records are stored in such a way as to keep transactions of multiple facilities separated. The inventory must be reconcilable with the accounting and inventory records and the permit file folder requirements of § 19.12 (d), (e) and (f) of this part. Proprietors are subject also to the recordkeeping requirements of other paragraphs of § 19.12, as well as those of §§ 19.6(d), 19.37(d), 19.39(d) of this part, and 144.37(h)(3) of this chapter.

[T.D. 92-81, 57 FR 37698, Aug. 20, 1992, as amended by T.D. 97-19, 62 FR 15840, Apr. 3, 1997; CBP Dec. 09-48, 74 FR 68685, Dec. 29, 2009]