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Compliance with CBP

Compliance with CBP

Recently, Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) has started sending Informed Compliance letters to large importers.  These letters are being issued by the Office of Regulatory Audit (“Reg Audit”).  The letters provide information on selected CBP informed compliance publications to assist the importers in evaluating their compliance with CBP’s laws and regulations.  Through these letters, CBP is strongly encouraging the importers to review their import filings and to voluntarily report any errors or discrepancies to CBP via a prior disclosure.

Charter and industry groups have been in contact with CBP to better understand the underlying purpose of the letters.  We have been told that Reg Audit is responsible for identifying suspected or known import risks and conducting audits of these areas.  These letters are a first step in that process.  These letters should not be taken lightly; they should be considered a pre-audit notification for a comprehensive audit.   Although not every importer who receives a letter will be audited, some percentage of those receiving them should expect an audit in the near future.

CBP has indicated that a prior disclosure of errors and discrepancies is not required.  However, they have stated that it is their intention to assess more penalties for noncompliance in instances where an Informed Compliance letter was sent to the importer.

We encourage any of our clients who have received an Informed Compliance letter to reach out to Charter’s compliance team (compliance@charterbrokerage.net) to discuss next steps.