Take Action: Support the Customs Business Fairness Act

Trade Update • August 23, 2023

he NCBFAA (National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America) has gained another supporter for the Customs Business Fairness Act (H.R. 1453). Representative Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) has become the 21st member of Congress to co-sponsor the bill, thanks to efforts by NCBFAA.

NCBFAA is continuing to ask for member’s help to make this important legislation a permanent part of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in 2023. You can play a crucial role by reaching out to your Representatives on Capitol Hill.

Using the user-friendly tool on the NCBFAA association website, you can easily contact your lawmakers. Just go to the “Write My Representative” page in the “I Want To” section of the new NCBFAA website. This tool, designed by NCBFAA Counsel to support grassroots advocacy, provides you with a letter template to request support for the Customs Business Fairness Act (H.R. 1453).

Why is this important?

The Customs Business Fairness Act safeguards customs brokers and their employees. Specifically, H.R. 1453 seeks a technical change in bankruptcy laws to protect customs brokers who have paid duties on behalf of importers that later file for bankruptcy. NCBFAA aims to secure “subrogation” rights for customs brokers who have dealt with payments to the U.S. government on behalf of a bankrupt importer. This change would prevent preference payment recovery actions on payments made during the 90-day period.

Initially introduced in the December 2020 stimulus package, CBFA brought relief to customs brokers facing the 90-day claw back when importers declared bankruptcy. However, the legislation had a one-year limit, expiring on December 31, 2021. To make CBFA a permanent part of bankruptcy laws, a new bill was introduced in early 2022 and had to be reintroduced with the start of the 118th Congress.

If you have any questions, reach out to NCBFAA Executive Vice President Megan Montgomery at mmontgomery@ncbfaa.org.

Your support matters in making this crucial change a lasting reality. Let’s work together to ensure the Customs Business Fairness Act becomes a permanent protection for our industry.


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