Customs and Duties Law and Legal Definition

"Customs duties" refers to the taxes and tariffs imposed on goods imported into the United States from a foreign country. The United States is divided into customs-collection districts, and certain places are designated as ports of entry.

The collection of customs duties is supervised by the Secretary of the Treasury through employees of the United States Customs Service. The amount of customs duties to be paid on foreign goods entered at a domestic port is determined by examination and appraisal after the owner or consignee, or an agent of either of them, has filed the documents required under regulations promulgated by the Treasury Department.

The federal Customs Court hears appeals from decisions of customs officials on classification of merchandise, duty rates and interpretation of customs laws. In turn, its decisions can be appealed to the Court of Customs and Patent Appeals.