181.100 Effect of NAFTA advance ruling letters; modification and revocation.§ 181.100 Effect of NAFTA advance ruling letters; modification and revocation.
(a) Effect of NAFTA advance ruling letters - (1) General. An advance ruling letter issued by Customs under the provisions of this subpart represents the official position of Customs with respect to the particular transaction or issue described therein and is binding on all Customs personnel in accordance with the provisions of this subpart until modified or revoked. In the absence of a change of practice or other modification or revocation which affects the principle of the advance ruling set forth in the advance ruling letter, that principle may be cited as authority in the disposition of transactions involving the same circumstances. An advance ruling letter is generally effective on the date it is issued or such later date as may be specified in the advance ruling and, commencing on its effective date, may be applied to entries for consumption and warehouse withdrawals for consumption which are unliquidated, or to other transactions with respect to which Customs has not taken final action on that date. See, however, paragraph (b) of this section (ruling letters which modify previous advance ruling letters) and § 181.101 of this part (advance ruling letters published in the Customs Bulletin).
(2) Application of NAFTA rulings to transactions - (i) General. Each NAFTA ruling letter is issued on the assumption that all of the information furnished in connection with the ruling request and incorporated in the ruling letter, either directly, by reference, or by implication, is accurate and complete in every material respect. The application of an advance ruling letter by a Customs field office to the transaction to which it is purported to relate is subject to the verification of the facts incorporated in the advance ruling letter, a comparison of the transaction described therein to the actual transaction, and the satisfaction of any conditions on which the advance ruling was based, and if the facts are materially different or a condition has not been satisfied, the treatment specified in the advance ruling will not be applied to the actual transaction. If, in the opinion of any Customs field office by whom the transaction is under consideration or review, the advance ruling letter should be modified or revoked, the findings and recommendations of that office will be forwarded to the Headquarters Office for consideration, prior to any final disposition with respect to the transaction by that office. If the transaction described in the NAFTA advance ruling letter and the actual transaction are the same, and any and all conditions set forth in the advance ruling letter have been satisfied, the advance ruling will be applied to the transaction.
(ii) Tariff change rulings. Each advance ruling letter concerning whether a change in tariff classification has occurred will be applied only with respect to transactions involving either articles which are identical to the sample submitted with the advance ruling request and reflect the same processing or articles which conform to the description set forth in the advance ruling letter.
(iii) Regional value content rulings. Each advance ruling letter concerning the application of a regional value content requirement will be applied only with respect to transactions involving the same merchandise and identical facts.
(3) Reliance on NAFTA advance rulings by others. An advance ruling letter is subject to modification or revocation without notice to any person other than the person to whom the letter was addressed. Accordingly, no other person may rely on the advance ruling letter or assume that the principles of that advance ruling will be applied in connection with any transaction other than the one described in the letter. However, any person eligible to request an advance ruling under § 181.92(b)(5) of this part may request information as to whether a previously-issued advance ruling letter has been modified or revoked by writing the Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, Attention: Regulations and Rulings, Office of International Trade, Washington, DC 20229, and either enclosing a copy of the advance ruling letter or furnishing other information sufficient to permit the advance ruling letter in question to be identified.
(b) Modification or revocation of NAFTA advance ruling letters - (1) General. Any NAFTA advance ruling letter may be modified or revoked by Customs Headquarters in any of the following circumstances or for any of the following purposes, provided that written notice of the modification or revocation is given to the person to whom the advance ruling letter was addressed:
(i) If the ruling letter reflects or is based on an error:
(A) Of fact;
(B) In the tariff classification of a good or material that is the subject of the ruling;
(C) In the application of a regional value-content requirement under General Note 12, HTSUS, and under this part;
(D) In the application of the rules for determining whether a good qualifies as a good of Canada or Mexico under Annex 300-B, Annex 302.2 or Chapter Seven of the NAFTA;
(E) In the application of the rules for determining whether a good is a qualifying good under Chapter Seven of the NAFTA; or
(F) In the application of the rules for determining whether a good qualifies for duty-free treatment under § 181.64 of this part when the good re-enters the United States after having been exported to Canada or Mexico for repair or alteration;
(ii) If the ruling letter is not in accordance with an interpretation agreed on by the United States, Canada and Mexico regarding Chapter Three or Chapter Four of the NAFTA;
(iii) If there is a change in the material facts or circumstances on which the ruling is based;
(iv) To conform to a modification of Chapter Three, Four, Five or Seven of the NAFTA, or of the Marking Rules, or of the regulations set forth in this part; or
(v) To conform to a judicial decision or change in domestic law.
(2) Application of modification or revocation of NAFTA advance ruling letters. The modification or revocation of a NAFTA advance ruling letter will not be applied to entries or warehouse withdrawals for consumption which were made prior to the effective date of such modification or revocation, except where the person to whom the advance ruling was issued has not acted in accordance with its terms and conditions.
(3) Effective dates. Generally, a NAFTA letter modifying or revoking an earlier advance ruling will be effective on the date it is issued. However, Customs may, upon request or on its own initiative, delay the effective date of such a modification or revocation for a period of up to 90 calendar days from the date of issuance. Such a delay may be granted at the request of the party to whom the ruling letter was issued, provided such party can demonstrate to the satisfaction of Customs that it relied on the earlier advance ruling in good faith and to its detriment. The evidence of such reliance must cover the period from the date of the letter modifying or revoking the advance ruling back to the date of that advance ruling and must list all transactions claimed to be covered by the modified or revoked advance ruling by entry number (or other Customs assigned number), the quantity and value of merchandise covered by each such transaction (where applicable), the ports of entry, and the dates of final action by Customs. Such evidence must also include contracts, purchase orders, or other materials tending to establish that future transactions were arranged based on the earlier advance ruling. The request for delay must specifically identify the prior ruling on which reliance is claimed. All persons requesting a delay will be issued a separate letter setting forth the period, if any, of the delay to be provided. In appropriate circumstances, Customs may decide to make its decision, with respect to a delay, applicable to all persons, irrespective of demonstrated reliance; in this event, a notice announcing the delay will be published in the Customs Bulletin and individual ruling letters will not be issued.