On March 23, 2010, Customs and Border Protection issued a notice of proposed rulemaking wherein the agency proposes to amend certain of the Regulation’s recordkeeping requirements.
First, the proposed rulemaking would allow a broker to store his or her records at any location within the United States, so long as the recordkeeping contract identified in the broker’s permit application makes all records available to CBP within a reasonable period of time should they be requested.
Second, the proposed rulemaking would amend the Regulations as they pertain to a broker’s obligation to retain entry documents in their original format for 120 days from release of conditional release of merchandise. CBP recognizes that brokers today often maintain entry documents in electronic format. The same entry document may exist in paper format, too, which the current Regulations would require to be kept for 120 days following release or conditional release, without regard for the fact that the document is also stored in electronic form. CBP’s proposed rulemaking would eliminate the requirement that the paper entry document be retained, so long as the electronic version were readily available to CBP. Importers of record, however, would continue to be required to maintain original entry documents for the 120-day period.
The proposed rulemaking would not change a broker’s general obligation to maintain records relating to his or her customs business for five years. CBP has invited the trade to comment upon the proposed rulemaking on or before May 24, 2010.