U.S. Duty Drawback: Why Now?

Duty drawback can provide relief in a high-tariff environment with consistent savings. Preparation is key to help ensure compliance and savings.

George Zaharatos

George Zaharatos

Principal, Tax, Trade & Customs, KPMG US

+1 404-222-3292

Dawn Olesky

Dawn Olesky

Managing Director, Trade & Customs, Duty Drawback Leader, KPMG US


Rising appeal to claim the drawback

U.S. duty drawback is a widely used mechanism to reclaim duties, fees, and certain taxes on imported goods that are subsequently exported or destroyed. While always a popular instrument, with the combination of modernized regulations and a dynamic trade landscape, its appeal has increased considerably.


In 2016, with the implementation of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (TFTEA), drawback was modernized, increasing the potential return on investment (ROI) for many drawback claimants. However, along with TFTEA’s modernized regulations came additional compliance complexities that have to be navigated. Learning how to apply these new requirements to manage a duty drawback program became a priority with the imposition of the Section 301 tariffs on imports from China—when tariff rates skyrocketed seemingly overnight. Further, an economy in flux has made tariff management a crucial component of a long-term savings strategy.

While drawback might seem tricky, the right combination of automation and human know-how allows for a streamlined process that optimizes duty recovery while prioritizing compliance.

Read the report to learn about

  • How duty drawback can put money back in your pocket
  • Why some drawback programs are not successful
  • Ways to maximize refunds

How KPMG can help

KPMG knows the challenges many companies face with drawback and we have developed methodologies and tools that help t0 alleviate these burdens. Through our process we can:

  • Baseline the current status through information gathering sessions with stakeholders, customs brokers and freight forwarders where data flows are mapped
  • Establish automated feeds with key third-parties
  • Develop and embed unique logic to normalize data
  • Remediate data inconsistencies
  • Perform mock audits to verify consistency among the supporting documentation and identify potential anomalies.