ANNOUNCEMENT 13 Dec 2013In December 2013, the government of the United States of America announced a change in import formalities.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued a final rule on December 13, 2013 that broadens the definition of the term 'members of a family residing inone household' to include long-term same-sex couples and otherdomestic relationships. This expansion will allow more returning U.S. citizens, residents,and international visitors to file a joint customs declaration for itemsacquired abroad, thus facilitating the entry of those goods though the reduction in paperwork and the pooling of purchases.
More precisely, the change now defines 'domesticrelationship' to include foster children, stepchildren,half-siblings, legal wards, other dependents, and individuals with an in locoparentis or guardianship relationship. The definition also includes two adults who are in a committed relationship including,but not limited to, long-term companions and couples in civil unions or domesticpartnerships where the partners share financial assets and obligations, and arenot married to, or a partner of, anyone else. The definition of the term 'members of afamily residing in one household' will continue to encompass relationships ofblood, adoption, and marriage.