What is HMF (Harbor Maintenance Fee)?


Import / Customs



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In addition to duty and excise tax, imports to the United States are subject to “user fees.” These fees depend on the mode of transport (sea, air, rail, road) and the type of entry (formal vs. informal). HMF is considered to be one of these “user fees.”

What is HMF? 

HMF stands for Harbor Maintenance Fee and is collected by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) services for shipments that are imported via ocean. 

Why was the HMF created? 

The HMF fee was created as a result of the Water Resource Act of 1986, which was established to share the cost for the construction of harbors, inland waterway transport, and flood-control projects by those who utilize these harbors. This set of rules became the basis of this “Customs Charge.”

When is HMF charged? 

HMF is collected on imports, domestic shipments, Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) admissions, and passengers. 

How is HMF calculated? 

The fee is normally assessed and indicated in accordance with the value of the shipment. HMF takes up 0.125% of the value of cargo declared on the commercial invoice of goods only imported via ocean. HMF does not have a minimum or maximum amount of charge. 

How can I avoid HMF taxes?

It’s difficult to avoid HMF charges, as it is assessed for dutiable and duty-free products. When you’re transporting your shipment via ocean to a Canadian port, through Canada, and into the United States, your shipment will not be subject to HMF. 




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