Wednesday, March 24, 2010

CBP Proposes Changes to Recordkeeping for Customs Brokers

In the Federal Register on March 23, 2010, CBP announced a potential change in some of the recordkeeping requirements for customs brokers.

Electronic data storage systems have become more reliable and sophisticated so that some of the traditional maintenance of paper files is no longer necessary. The Notice of Public Rulemaking “NPR” proposes the following changes to some of the duplicate recordkeeping situations brokers often use as a result of the technology and CBP requirements.

111.23 Location
Licensed customs brokers will be allowed to store records relating to its customs transactions at any location within the customs territory of the United States, so long as the designated recordkeeping contact identified in the broker's permit application makes all records available to CBP within a reasonable period of time from request at the broker district that covers the CBP port to which the records relate.

163.5 Method of Storage
Brokers who are not serving as the importer of record will be allowed to retain all records electronically for 5 years. However, this provision does not apply to brokers who do not maintain electronic records (that is, all brokers who only transmit paper documents to CBP). Also, this exemption does not apply to any document that is required by law to be maintained as a paper record, such as some softwood lumber documents. Previously, entry records were required to be maintained in their original formats for 120 calendar days from the end of the release or conditional release period.

Note: This exception only applies to brokers. Importers must still retain entry records in their original format for the 120-day period after the release or conditional release of imported goods.

Comments should be submitted by May 24, 2010 using one of the following options.

1. Federal eRulemaking Portal
Docket Number:USCBP-2009-0019

2. MailTrade and Commercial Regulations Branch Regulations and Rulings
Office of International Trade
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
799 9th Street, NW. (Mint Annex)
Washington, DC 20229

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