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  October 7th, 2016 | Written by

NCBFAA Submits Comments on Proposed CBP Reg

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  • NCBFAA: Qualifying merchandise should be afforded duty and tax exemptions but entered via ACE and ITDS.
  • “Duty free does not mean data free.”
  • NCBFAA: All goods entering the U.S. should be considered customs business.

Regulations proposed for the increase of the de minimis entry exemption must establish clear requirements and clarify the process by which goods eligible for the duty exemption may be presented for entry into the United States.

That was the gist of the comments submitted by the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America, Inc. (NCBFAA) to the Department of Treasury and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) with regard to a proposed CBP rule.

The NCBFAA believes that qualifying merchandise should be afforded the duty and tax exemptions provided for in the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (TFTEA) but entered via ACE and ITDS entry procedures thereby assuring the proper data collection and adherence to CBP and Partner Government Agency import requirements.

NCBFAA submits that exemption from duty does not distinguish these shipments from other imported merchandise but this issue should be specifically addressed. A federal statute allows Treasury to disregard discrepancies in collection of taxes and duties to avoid expenses and inconveniences to the government disproportionate to the amount of revenue that would otherwise be collected.

The notice of proposed rulemaking indicates that duties and harbor maintenance fees will not be assessed on shipments entered under the informal entry procedures. NCBFAA further suggests that language be included to waive the merchandise processing fees on any informal entries electronically filed for release under exemption since those fees would never exceed two dollars. The effort and inconvenience required to collect and track the payment of these minimal fees, the NCBFAA argued, exceeds the revenue being collected.

NCBFAA also suggested that this same consideration be given to other small fees which might otherwise be assessed on low value shipments and result in the collection of minimal revenues.

TFTEA addressed concerns that both CBP and the trade had expressed about the identification of importers. For many years CBP has endeavored to understand who the actual parties are in the importing process in order to properly target what was being imported into the United States. “For supply chain security, which includes physical safety issues, the protection of intellectual property rights, and the control of goods subject to trade protection measures such as anti-dumping or countervailing duty orders, CBP must establish an entry solution within ACE to allow for enforcement of the trade laws and risk based targeting of inbound shipments,” said the NCBFAA submission. “Duty free does not mean data free.”

The NCBFAA urged CBP to issue regulations to mandate that all goods entered into the United States are considered customs business, requiring either the direct involvement of the actual importer or a licensed customs broker who is bound under TFTEA to validate an importer’s identity.