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Avoid Unnecessary Risk and Ensure Your Broker is Compliant with New Customs Rules

Starting December 18th, 2022, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency will be enforcing an adjusted set of regulations which will require customs brokers to expand their record-keeping and oversight responsibilities. The new regulations will also require brokers to be nationally certified, and it will compel them to identify and report both physical and electronic breaches.

Updated regulations are vast and detailed. Here are some highlights of these new rules:

  • Record-keeping responsibilities are tied together with the reporting of physical and electronic breaches.

  • The new codified expectation from CBP is that any sort of breach must be reported within just 72 hours.

  • Any affiliated communications must be available for submission or review by CBP.

  • Brokers must track any noncompliance—specifically suspicious and/or consistent noncompliance—by all importers that they work with.

  • Brokers must document all relevant correspondence related to those instances of noncompliance for submission once their relationship with that importer (or importers) has been terminated.

“While largely unknown to people outside of our sector, these adjustments are very consequential for any logistics operation. It’s now clear that CBP is shifting toward enforcing more compliance than ever,” explains Matt Haffner, Vice President of Customs Brokerage for OEC Group North America. “I urge importers to increase two-way communication with their broker and have a conversation regarding all changes in order to make sure new regulations are thoroughly understood, because if they aren’t, then this could cause lengthy, costly, and unnecessary delays to your supply chain.”

In addition to the new regulations detailed above, permits will shift from either port specific or national to solely national. Also, CBP will be examining the ratio of licensed customs brokers to non-certified employees within brokerage offices. If any broker has not studied up on new adjustments or adequately prepared for the roll-out of these changes, then that could lead to a higher level of scrutiny on these brokers and every one of their clients. As a result, importers need to be proactive and protect their interests by advocating for their logistics plan and gauging their current brokers’ knowledge of CBP’s updated rules and regulations.

“Importers must note that these rules will expand broker engagement with the CBP and generally increase the responsibilities of every broker in the relationship between CBP, broker, and importer,” said Robert Um, National Compliance Manager for OEC Group North America. “Preparing for these new rules and regulations has been three years in the making for our team, meaning our consistently high level of service will remain the same. We feel that preparation and a personal touch can’t be discounted, and for us, this is business as usual.”
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