When it comes to importing and exporting, Customs takes their job seriously, especially regarding Lacey Act violations. Civil and criminal penalties are severe for companies that violate its terms.
Importing into the U.S. involves a long list of tasks and careful considerations. There’s no worse scenario than thinking you’ve dotted all your Is and crossed all your Ts, only to realize you overlooked a PGA regulation and your shipment cannot get through Customs.
In the past, goods originating in the United States which were exported and then returned have been allowed to enter the U.S. without payment of duties under certain circumstances. Under the Trade Facilitation and Enforcement Act of 2015 (TFTEA) and the new US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), there have been changes to the regulatory and documentary requirements to take advantage of these benefits. The burden of proof remains on the importer, and as such, the proof is in the proverbial pudding.
When I’m preparing to deliver a Risk Assessment Report, the first question clients often ask is, “What’s our compliance score?” While the intention is good, we are asking the wrong question. Numbers may not lie, but they don’t tell the whole truth, particularly in compliance – and in the gap is where good companies get into trouble.
Importers might aptly view a Customs broker as a trusted partner for Customs entry filing, but a broker’s job is also to help safeguard importers against delays, fines, and penalties due to errors or regulatory violations.