Javascript will enable the page to open and include navigation header Skip to content

HELP - CROSS Online Search Basics

search basics  options bar   results page   ignored words   
keyword input |  boolean operators |  correct syntax |  accessibility |  session cookies
Keyword Input
Searches can be performed utilizing keywords, multiple keywords, phrases, and combinations of each.
  • Single keyword = doghouse
    Search results will include records with the keyword doghouse in the document.

  • Multiple keywords = dog house
    Search results will include records with both the keywords dog and house in the document.

  • Phrase = "dog house" enclosed in double quotes.
    Search results will include records with the exact phrase "dog house" in the document.

  • Search by tariff number
    - Simply enter 6204.43.4040 to retrieve rulings that contain this tariff number.

    - 6204.43.4040 6104.43.2020 6110.30.3055 will find rulings that reference all these tariff numbers.

    - For wildcard searches, the asterisk is used and the query argument must be enclosed in quotes, i.e., "8419.89.50*" or "8419.89.*" or "8419.*"

  • Search by regulatory cite or statutory cite
    - Since there are a variety of ways these are expressed, the following techniques will yield favorable results: By breaking this cite into two phrases, "19 C.F.R." "102.11(b)" will return rulings with 19 CFR 102.11(b), 19 CFR 102.11(b), 19 C.F.R. 102.11(b)

    - The search phrase "19 U.S.C." "1401(a)" or the search phrase "1401a" will return results where the search target may appear as 19 U.S.C. 1401(a)(b) or 19 U.S.C. 1401a(b). If parentheses are part of the phrase to be searched, they must be enclosed in quotes. Note that periods are used in the acronym, i.e., C.F.R. is used rather than CFR.

  • Search by ruling number
    - Enter 083536 to retrieve all rulings that reference that number.

    - Hint: to search for a specific ruling, make sure that the collection option is set to ALL and the date sort is set to descending.

    - Hint: if you are searching using a ruling number and do not get a hit by typing in the requested number, try adding a "W" in front of the number, for example W563543.

Punctuation marks such as the period (.), colon (:), semicolon (;), and comma (,) are ignored during a search.



Boolean Operators and Wildcards
Boolean operators are tools used to narrow your search results. They include AND, OR, and NEAR. The wildcard operator ( * ) is used to expand your search.
  • AND connecting two or more keywords or phrases will only match records containing all keywords or phrases. AND is the default operator when two or more keywords or phrases are entered without an operator.

    - dog AND "chew toy" is the equivalent of dog "chew toy".

    - dog AND house is the equivalent of dog house.

  • AND NOT forbids the word or word phrase that follows it from appearing in the search result set.

    - red handbag AND NOT leather will find records containing words red and handbag and screens out records with the word leather.

    - dog AND NOT "chew toy" will return records with the word dog but not the phrase "chew toy".

    - light emitting diode AND NOT "semi*" will find records containing words light, emitting and diode and screens out records with words starting with semi (such as semiconductor).

    - red handbag AND NOT leather AND NOT plastic AND NOT pink will find records with the words red and handbag but screens out records with the words leather or plastic or pink.

  • OR connecting two or more keywords or phrases, will match records containing any of the keywords or phrases.

    - dog OR "chew toy" returns records containing the keyword dog or the phrase "chew toy".

  • The NEAR operator is similar to the AND operator in that NEAR returns a match if both words being searched for are in the same page. However, the NEAR operator differs from AND because the rank assigned by NEAR depends on the proximity of words.

    - dog NEAR toy returns and ranks records containing the keywords dog and toy within 50 words of each other. All records containing dog and toy further than 50 words apart are in the result set.

    - but with a rank of zero. The closer dog and toy are to one another, the higher the rank in the search result set.

  • A string of letters or digits followed by the wildcard (*) will match all records that contain keywords starting with the same pattern. This search type is especially useful when you don't know the spelling of a particular keyword, or when you want to include all variants of a keyword in your search. When using the wildcard operator, keywords and phrases must be enclosed in double quotes.

    - "comput*" returns records containing the words computer, computing, computation, etc...

  • Multiple operators can be used in a single search to create very specific result sets.

    - dog OR house AND wood matches records containing both the keywords house and wood, as well as records containing the keyword dog.





Correct Syntax
  • Two operators are not allowed next to each other.

  • No operator is allowed to start or end a query except the wildcard (*).

  • CROSS Search is not case sensitive and views mike, MIKE, and Mike as equivalents when searching.

  • Keywords can be any string of more than one letter and/or digits; but, cannot include non-alphanumeric characters such as: `~ ! @ # $ % ^ & and white space (tabs).





Accessibility
CROSS Search is designed to be Section 508 compliant. Web pages that contain navigational icons and data tables can be interpreted and navigated with the aid of screen reader software (such as JAWS).

To obtain software required to view rulings, please visit the plug-ins page on cbp.gov. Get Plug-ins





Session Cookies
CROSS Search utilizes temporary (session) cookies to "remember" which search options you have selected. Once the session times out (after 10 minutes of inactivity or when you close your web browser) the session information is released or "forgotten". No cookie is stored on your computer or is requested by CROSS SEARCH. If you have disabled session cookies in your web browser configuration, CROSS SEARCH will not function correctly. Visit the Customs and Border Protection web site for further information regarding the CBP privacy policy.