Frequently Asked Questions

Exporting Basics: Preparing and Shipping Goods

What is the harbor maintenance fee? How is it used?
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is authorized by the Water Resources Act of 1986 to assess a harbor maintenance fee on the value of commercial cargo loaded on or unloaded from a commercial vessel at ports covered by the Act. Proceeds of the harbor maintenance fee are made available to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the improvement and maintenance of U.S. ports and harbors. The fee is paid by the importers and exporters of cargoes. The fee is based on .125 percent of the value of the cargo.

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