CBP Recordkeeping Requirements: UPDATE!

A long-overdue modification of CBP’s recordkeeping requirements has been announced this week, with an anticipated effective date of January 11, 2013.  Current regulations require that all records are to be kept “within the broker district that covers the Customs port to which they relate,” a requirement which severely complicates the recordkeeping process for many companies. The new regulations will eliminate this requirement, allowing any licensed customs broker “to store records relating to his or her customs transactions at any locations within the customs territory of the United States.” CBP has also included plans, effective on the same date, to provide exemptions from the 120-day requirement for customs brokers not serving as the importer of record to retain certain records in their original format. These exemptions will clear the way for companies to embrace the less burdensome and more environmentally friendly methods of electronic recordkeeping.

These policy changes were proposed by CBP as early as March of 2010, prompting discussion and commentary on the issue. After assessing that the response to the proposed changes was largely positive, and correcting a few minor errors noticed by the commentators, Customs has finally set a date by when the changes will be implemented. The altered language of 19 CFR parts 111 and 163 will read as follows:

PART 111 – CUSTOMS BROKERS
* * * * *
§ 111.23  Retention of records.
(a) Place of retention.  A licensed customs broker may retain records relating to its customs transactions at any location within the customs territory of the United States  in accordance with the provisions of this part and part 163 of this chapter.  Upon request by CBP to examine records, the designated recordkeeping contact identified in the broker’s applicable permit application, in accordance with § 111.19(b)(6) of this chapter, must make all records available to CBP within 30 calendar days, or such longer time as specified by CBP, at the broker district that covers the CBP port to which the records relate.
(b)  Period of retention.  The records described in this section, other than powers of attorney, must be retained for at least 5 years after the date of entry.  Powers of attorney must be retained until revoked, and revoked powers of attorney and letters of revocation must be retained for 5 years after the date of revocation or for 5 years after the date the client ceases to be an “active client” as defined in § 111.29(b)(2)(ii), whichever period is later.  When merchandise is withdrawn from a bonded warehouse, records relating to the withdrawal must be retained for 5 years from the date of withdrawal of the last merchandise withdrawn under the entry.
PART 163 — RECORDKEEPING   
The revisions read as follows:
§ 163.5  Methods for storage of records.
* * * * *
(b) * * *
(2) * * *
(iii)  Except in the case of packing lists (see § 163.4(b)(2)), entry records must be maintained by the importer in their original formats for a period of 120 calendar days from the end of the release or conditional release period, whichever is later, or, if a demand for return to CBP custody has been issued, for a period of 120 calendar days either from the date the goods are redelivered or from the date specified in the demand as the latest redelivery date if redelivery has not taken place.  Customs brokers who are not serving as the importer of record and who maintain separate electronic records are exempted from this requirement.  This exemption does not apply to any document that is required by law to be maintained as a paper record.
* * * * *
(5)  Failure to comply with alternative storage requirements.  If a person listed in § 163.2 uses an alternative storage method for records that is not in compliance with the conditions and requirements of this section, CBP may issue a written notice informing the person of the facts giving rise to the notice and directing that the alternative storage method must be discontinued in 30 calendar days unless the person provides written notice to the issuing CBP office within that time period that explains, to CBP’s satisfaction, how compliance has been achieved.  Failure to timely respond to CBP will result in CBP requiring discontinuance of the alternative storage method until a written statement explaining how compliance has been achieved has been received and accepted by CBP.
Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s