Several months ago we reported that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) appeared to be in the process of stepping up its trade enforcement efforts by targeting importers suspected to have compliance deficiencies.
The notification was prompted by the fact that many companies at the time had been receiving unsolicited communications from CBP drawing their attention to the “informed compliance” mandates that have been embedded in law since passage of the Customs Modernization Act (more commonly referred to as the “Mod Act” that was enacted in 1993 pursuant to Title VI of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act).
Though seemingly harmless, CBP officials subsequently confirmed these ostensibly helpful avisory notifications were actually indicative signals of potential non-compliance and furthermore, that companies receiving the “informed compliance letters” were quite likely to be scrutinized by the agency in future for trade enforcement actions.
In light of the Obama administration’s vigorous new push to obtain ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and efforts being made in connection with this initiative to demonstrate to lawmakers its “strong record” of enforcing the government’s rights under existing trade agreements, it seems apposite to remind importers about the present situation and once again highlight the need for increased vigilance regarding their current state of compliance.
To gain a better understanding of the potential risks involved, we invite you to register for a webinar concerning this issue presented by our customs law trade partner Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg P.A. In this informative session, former CBP attorney Larry Ordet outlines how importers can best prepare themselves for increased customs scrutiny in all aspects of their operations.
- what the new CBP informed compliance letters mean
- the Customs Mod Act and the burdens it places on importers
- how to operate in an atmosphere of informed compliance and reasonable care
- how to protect your company in the event errors are found
- what to expect with CBP’s new antidumping enforcement regulations
- best practices in conducting import operations reviews