tariff engineering

Tariff engineering is the targeted design of a product's characteristics to reduce the tariff to be paid on imports. Unlike tax evasion, tariff engineering is legal. It studies changes to the material, structure, or other characteristics of a product so that the product can be imported with more favorable tariff treatment.

Common methods of tariff engineering include; changing the raw materials or structure of the product, breaking up the goods into smaller values so that the product qualifies for tariff exemption or is classified as less taxed.

[Last updated in June of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]