What are commercial goods?
In general terms, commercial goods are goods that are sold or traded or intended for sale or trade-in the normal course of a firm’s business, or customarily used by the general public or offered to it for lease, license or sale
Goods can be classified as being commercial if they fall into any of the following categories:
- They are imported for business purposes.
- They are imported for resale.
- They are samples imported for business purposes.
Goods may be entered for the following reasons (Sec 38 (3) of the customs act)
- For warehousing, if so eligible;
- For home use, if so eligible;
- For transit or transshipment; or
- For temporary importation
Customs will utilize available data, knowledge and competence to the extent possible, to determine consignments on which no customs duties and taxes will be collected, aside from certain prescribed goods. The importers history, (Type, frequency and quantity of imports) may be taken into account when determining the qualification of his/her consignment for De minimis treatment.
We suggest that if a client is certain that his or her frequent orders are for personal use, they have the right to go speak to the customs officer who assessed their package as commercial, they will be happy to sit and speak with you. They will pull up your list of all imports for the last year, two years or five years, from all the various companies that you have used in the past to current. Armed with this data, one can prove to the officer that these frequent orders are for personal use.
You have that right and you should exercise it, don’t let anyone take you for a ride. Many people have been successful in explaining why they order so much peanut butter, for their family of 12 individuals. On the other hand, many have said it is ok officer when they were shown their file.
Remember Customs can reaccess what you have already paid duty on. Tread wisely, we are here to guide you.