U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued a list of answers to questions posted during its June 7 webinar on the status of its Role of the Broker Initiative, which currently involves efforts to rewrite the customs broker regulations and allow brokers to pre-certify applicants for the Importer Self-Assessment program. Highlights of the information made available in this document include the following.
- CBP hopes to draft a proposed rule amending the broker regulationsthis fall or winter and publish it in late spring 2013.
- A pilot program allowing CBP-accredited brokers to pre-certify applicants for ISA is expected to be announced shortly.
- Concerning the possible requirement for brokers to obtain continuing education to remain licensed, CBP is very sensitive to the time and money constraints of individual brokers and brokers who may serve as the sole in-house broker for an importer. Low-cost but effective methods must be explored and CBP is encouraging creativity in suggestions from the broker community. Options will likely be discussed during the July 12 and Aug. 9 webinars that will be devoted to continuing education.
- The potential revision to 19 CFR Part 111 will include validating importers. CBP is also looking to make conforming amendments and further clarifications in 19 CFR Part 141, which addresses the right to make entry. Finally, CBP will modify CBP Form 5106 to more proactively collect information about importers that can be vetted by CBP. The Form 5106 revisions will apply only to new importers and others requiring an importer number for doing business with CBP.
- The overhaul of the broker regulations will likely affect anyone currently covered by those regulations, including individual license holders, brokers in a brokerage house and in-house brokers for an importer. CBP will also consider how the revised regulations, including any continuing education requirement, will affect brokers who are technically retired but want to maintain their license.
- CBP is exploring a pilot program to test a more relaxed broker permitting requirement and is continuously working with other government agencies to find ways to incorporate their requirements into its pilot programs.
- CBP does not anticipate issuing special or different broker licenses associated with its Centers for Excellence and Expertise because release, collections, liquidations, etc. will still be based on the port of entry.
- CBP will work to conduct joint webinars with other government agencies and seeks input from the trade community on the most valuable topics and issues to be addressed during those sessions.
Source: STR Trade Report