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Metals & Machinery Branch Chief National Commodity Specialist Division (NCSD)- New York. Thomas J. Russo. The NCSD is located at 1 Penn Plaza (previously 6 WTC) in New York and is composed of 48 National Import Specialists (NISs) and 45 National Import Specialist Assistants (NISAs)

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thomas j russo
Metals & Machinery Branch Chief

National Commodity Specialist Division (NCSD)- New York

Thomas J. Russo
national commodity specialist division ncsd
The NCSD is located at 1 Penn Plaza (previously 6 WTC) in New York and is composed of 48 National Import Specialists (NISs) and 45 National Import Specialist Assistants (NISAs)

The NISs are the recognized Commodity and Harmonized Tariff Classification experts in CBP

The NISs area of responsibility is defined and assigned by HTS number

The NCSD is a Division of the Regulations and Rulings (R&R) located in Washington D.C.

R&R is under the new Office of International Trade (OT)

Technical advice to Headquarters and Other Government Offices/Agencies

Information/Advice to Field Offices

Risk Assessment/Database Maintenance

Advice to the Public

National Commodity Specialist Division (NCSD)Major Functions to Achieve National Uniformity and Informed Compliance
technical advice to headquarters and other government offices agencies
CIT/Assistant Chief Counsel/Department of Justice case preparation, stipulations

International Agreements Staff – HQ – Review and comment on draft agenda matters before the HSC of the WCO

ITC – US Tariff language, new provisions, etc.

Commerce Department - AD/CVD scope determinations, new statistical breakouts

Technical advice to Headquarters and other government offices/agencies
information advice to field offices
Responding to internal electronic HTS classification questions from ports

Issuing internal electronic Alerts on HTS changes/issues

National Commodity Training Sessions (seminar program)

Mini-seminars/port visits – address issues specific to a port or group of ports

Email network messages or telephone contacts

Responses to Focused Assessment Team inquiries

Information/Advice to Field Offices
advice to the public
Issue Binding Rulings – Classification, free trade agreements, country of origin, marking

Informed Compliance Publications

Informed Compliance Seminars, Commodity Specific Training Sessions

Presentations to trade associations – e.g., LIIEA, AAEI, American Footwear Assoc., etc.

Telephone advice – urgent or unusual issues, especially admissibility

Advice to the Public
binding rulings authority 19 c f r 177
Basic Requirements

Name, address, email address, of requesting party

Description of transaction - Prospective v. Current

Statements – No issues pending

Complete description of goods in imported condition

Type of Ruling Request (e.g. Classification etc.)

Binding RulingsAuthority 19 C.F.R. 177
types of rulings


Country of Origin

Free Trade agreements

Types of Rulings
erulings program
Via email since 2003

eRulings Template created in December 2005

Found on

Fill in the blanks

Attach Pictures, Illustrations, Manuals

Electronic signature

Electronic Ruling Program eliminates mailing on both ends to reduce overall processing time and expedite receipt of decisions.

EXCEPTION - No samples permitted

eRulings program
by the numbers
A total of over 9000 binding ruling requests were filed in FY 2007.

Over 25% or approximately 2,400 requests were eRulings.

Over 2000 ( 225 per month) since the start of the new web template in December of 2005.

Average response time is approximately 20 days.

key binding ruling cbp websites
CBP Main Site -

What are Rulings

eRulings Requirements

eRulings Template

Customs Rulings Online Search Systems - CROSS