CBP’s Guidance on Charitable Contributions Due to COVID-19

April 14, 2020 – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued CSMS 42320854  and

CSMS 42355785 providing guidance on charitable donations for relief in combating COVID-19.

International donations filed without formal entry off the manifest, and without payment of duty and fees, may be one of two types:

  1. Nation to Nation donations, approved by the U.S. Department of State, to

Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) International Assistance System (IAS) Concept of Operations (CONOPS), or

  1. Donations to U.S. Charities, approved by Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

CBP may verify an organization’s tax-exempt status using the IRS web site

For shipments to U.S. charities, the charity must provide a letter, on their letterhead, containing the charity’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS) number(s), stating that they are willing to accept the imported goods, and intends to donate them.

Donations not meeting either of these two criteria may still be made, where a Customs Broker uses established entry procedures, and remits payment of any duty, taxes and fees on behalf of the importer of record.

Contacts for questions are provided in the CSMS.

If you have any questions regarding CBP’s charitable contribution guidance, Livingston can help!  Please contact either your Livingston account manager or our regulatory affairs group at usregaffairs@livingstonintl.com