Why You May Pay More for Improper Removal of Goods From CBP Custody

December 22, 2006
By Michelle Kelley

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Customs issues changes to mitigation policy.

Remove or deliver merchandise from a U.S. terminal, port, or place of unlading without Customs & Border Protection (CBP) examination or authorization and expect to pay higher penalties, according to a General Notice issued by CBP.

The new guidelines for such violations were issued, CBP says, because of concerns that removal or delivery of merchandise without CBP authorization or examination places an “unacceptable risk upon the security, health, or safety of the populace.”

Effective December 6, 2006, a penalty equal to the domestic value of the merchandise will be assessed if CBP considers removal or delivery without examination and authorization to pose a risk to the security, health, or safety of the populace. Under old guidelines, penalties were often mitigated to $2500, regardless of whether violations placed such risk on the populace.

Mitigation procedures for such penalties have also changed, as follows.

First Violation: may be mitigated upon payment of an amount equal to the lesser of: 1) 75% of the domestic value of the merchandise, or 2) a flat sum between $10,000 and $25,000 as determined by CBP

Second Violation: may be mitigated upon payment of an amount equal to the lesser of: 1) 75% of the domestic value of the merchandise, or 2) a flat sum between $25,001 and $50,000 as determined by CBP

Third and subsequent Violations: may be mitigated upon payment of an amount equal to the lesser of: 1) 75% of the domestic value of the merchandise, or 2) a flat sum between $50,0001 and $75,000 as determined by CBP

Customs has also reserved the right to assess separate penalties against multiple parties for a single violation (meaning that each party involved in a violation may be subject to a penalty).

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