Monday, December 04, 2006

Simon Says, Wait for a Release

Customs just announced beefed up penalties for taking your merchandise before it is officially released. That sounds like a crazy thing, but it happens. Usually, this is the fault of the carrier or broker trying to look like a hero by getting the goods to you. After all, it is not often that the importer actually shows up at the port to pick up the goods.

The penalties are pretty substantial. Here is the gist of it (which are published in the guise of "mitigation guidelines"):


A first violation may be mitigated upon payment of an amount
equal to the lesser of: 1) 75% of the domestic value of the merchandise,
removed or delivered without authorization and/or examination,
or 2) a flat sum between $10,000 and $25,000, as determined at
CBP’s sole discretion.

A second violation may be mitigated upon payment of an amount
equal to the lesser of: 1) 75% of the domestic value of the merchandise,
removed or delivered without authorization and/or examination,
or 2) a flat sum between $25,001 and $50,000, as determined at
CBP’s sole discretion.

Third and subsequent violations may be mitigated upon payment
of an amount equal to the lesser of: 1) 75% of the domestic value of
the merchandise, removed or delivered without authorization and/or
examination, or 2) a flat sum between $50,001 and $75,000, as determined
at CBP’s sole discretion.

The lesson here? Customs takes this seriously. There must have been some issues at the ports that prompted this change. So, be sure that any pressure you place on your carrier, broker, or other agent at the port is coupled with an instruction the be sure the merchandise is properly released.

The other lesson here? It pays to keep your eye on the Customs Bulletin. Thanks, Rick, for pointing it out.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Larry keep it up. I haven't posted a comment in a while, but I do keep up with the blog. Thank You!!

rp