The Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF) for formal entries (in cases of imports of commercial goods valued at $2,500 or more) is an ad valorem fee of 0.3464 percent. This fee is calculated based on the value of the merchandise imported, excluding duty, freight, and insurance charges. The maximum amount of the fee shall not exceed $528.33 and the minimum shall not be less than $27.23.
MPF for informal entries (usually for personal use imports or commercial imports valued less than $2,500) is assessed on goods that are transported to the U.S. via air, ship and international mail.
19 CFR 24.23(b)(1) requires the importer of record to pay the fee to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the time of presenting the entry summary.
The Harbor Maintenance Fee (HMF) is intended to require those who benefit from maintenance of U.S. ports and harbors to share the cost of the maintenance. The fee became effective on April 11, 1987, and has been assessed on port use associated with imports, exports, and movement of cargo and passengers between domestic ports. However, in March 1998, the Supreme Court declared that HMF collected on exports were unconstitutional and as a result, the HMF is no longer collected on exports.
The HMF is only collected on imports, domestic shipments, Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) admissions, and passengers. The fee is assessed based on the value of the shipment and importers are required to pay .125% of the value of the commercial cargo shipped through identified ports. HMF is not collected on cargo imported or transported via air. Unlike MPF, there is no prescribed minimum or maximum HMF.
Once the fee(s) are collected by CBP, it is deposited into the Harbor Maintenance Trust fund, from which Congress may appropriate amounts to pay for harbor maintenance and development projects and related expenses. For more information on the Harbor Maintenance Fee, see 19 CFR 24.24.