In an apparent effort to increase enforcement activities, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has been issuing Informed Compliance Notification (ICN) letters to a variety of importers lately with a subject line, Distribution of Informed Compliance Publications and Other Informative Documents. They may particularly be targeting importers whom they have identified as having specific high-risk imports OR non-compliance issues with customs regulations, and are thus quite susceptible to undergoing a comprehensive regulatory audit. The letters are being sent accompanied with a DVD that contains a number of Informed Compliance Publications (ICP). These very valuable and informative ICPs can also be found here on CBP's website.
You are encouraged to review those that pertain to your import activities, and most particularly those regarding entry requirements, valuation, tariff classification and country of origin.
While we have yet to be made aware of our clients having received such letters, we would like to alert you to be on the watch for any correspondence that your firm may receive from CBP, and strongly urge you to contact us immediately. Please be reminded that CBP is allowed to conduct full audits on your importing activities into the U.S. whether or not you are a U.S. domiciled company.
CBP has stated that these ICNs are generally intended to encourage importers to conduct internal reviews of their importing practices, and to file prior disclosures in cases where there are discrepancies or deficiencies discovered.
Important: Prior to communicating with U.S. Customs directly we emphasize the importance of contacting us first and as soon as possible after receiving any correspondence from CBP. As your customs broker, we are generally copied in on most correspondence from CBP to our clients; however, we do not anticipate being notified of this particular outreach unless we hear directly from you.
Pacific Customs Brokers stands ready to assist and guide you on all customs matters, and we look forward to hearing from you.
Have you received an Informed Compliance Notification recently or in the past? Did you wait, respond immediately or contact your customs broker first? If you have received a letter recently, call us immediately.