Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Courtesy Notices Endangered?

I just noticed a Federal Register Notice in which U.S. Customs and Border Protection is proposing to eliminate the mailed paper courtesy notice of liquidation (CBPF 4333-A). The reasoning is that an electronic ABI message is already sent to the importer and the broker. According to Customs, that makes the courtesy notice redundant.

I'm just wondering . . . does it really? What do you folks do with the 4333? Personally, I see it a lot when importers want to confirm liquidation dates for purposes of filing protests. While I am aware that the only official notice is the notebook down at the customhouse, I also know that few importers trot down there to check before filing a protest.

I'm all about automation and reducing redundant data. I'm also happy to save the U.S. government $3 million per year, and save a few tress as well. Let me know if you see any problem with this.


Anonymous said...

Larry -

In this day and age the "book down at the customhouse" is an archaic redundancy. The official notice of liquidation should be the notice provided via ABI - not some clerk's scrawling in a 19th Century ledger.

If CBP were to make THIS change, there would be no need for the courtesy notice to be mailed.

Your faithful Customs retiree.

Wizard said...

Years ago, a lot of importers tossed them or let them pile up in a drawer somewhere. We always reviewed for discrepancies and filed them with the entry documents. I agree - save time, money and trees!

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure that most importers even know what the liquidation notices are. I say: do away with the courtesy notices, but implement a direct notice to the importer rather than to the broker via ABI.

Leroy F. Berven said...

For the vast majority of entries which liquidate "as entered", both liquidation notices and the liquidation list posted at the local Customs office are no longer a good use of CBP resources; electronic notification would make much more sense. Paper change notices, however, like notices of suspension of liquidation, continue to serve a very useful reminder function -- particularly for importers who are not yet electronically linked to CBP. So, I would continue the mailed notices of any action (or non-action) which indicates any outcome other than the routine liquidation to close out an entry with no further changes.

Peter S Herrick PA said...

The Bulletin Notices of Entries Liquidated should be posted electronically. This would save the government time and money. Pages from the Bulletin are not available through FOIA.