Archive for the ‘Customs Audit’ Category


 

2017 Designation Maintenance Begins in our Professional Development Courses!

T if for Trade Compliance Education

A new year means a new start for most everything and this includes a reset to the maintenance requirements of your professional designations set forth by the credential’s governing body. We are well into the year now and our Professional Development Courses for fall 2017 are about to launch.

Whether you are a Canadian or U.S. Certified Customs Specialist (CCS), a Certified Trade Compliance Specialist (CTCS), a Certified Export Specialist (CES), a designate with the Law Society of British Columbia (LSBC) or accounting professional, taking any of Pacific Customs Brokers’ seminars and webinars will earn you maintenance points, credits and hours towards a variety professional designations.

Review and plan your maintenance for the second half of 2017 by clicking on the course’s name below:

(Fall registration opens at midnight on July 15, 2017)

  CSCB NEI LSBC
Webinar CCS CTCS CCS CES  
CDN Importing for Beginners Part 1
CDN Importing for Beginners Part 2
US Importing for Beginners Part 1 1
US Importing for Beginners Part 2 1
FDA Regulated Goods 2 2 1
CFIA Regulated Goods 2 2
NAFTA for Beginners Part 1 1 1
NAFTA for Beginners Part 2 1
 
Seminar
Shipping Perishables – NEW! 5 5 3 3
CDN Trade Compliance Part 1 5 5
CDN Trade Compliance Part 2 5 5 3
Exporting from Canada 5 5 3 3
US Trade Compliance Part 1 5 5 3
US Trade Compliance Part 2 5 5 3 3
HS Tariff Classification 5 6 4
Free Trade Agreements and Rules of Origin 5 5 5
Customs Valuation 5 3.5
CFIA 5 5
FDA 5 5 3
CTPAT 3 3 2 2

 

If you have never attended one of our Professional Development Courses before, the following information might help you decide on attending the next one.

Professional Development Courses – Webinars

Our webinars are designed to meet the demands of the global trade community. These live webinars are a convenient way for trade professionals to stay ahead of new regulations with international trade and gain additional knowledge in key areas. The benefits of attending an online course include:

  • Cost-effectiveness – More affordable than industry standards and some even offered complimentary
  • Global accessibility – Travel is removed from the equation for companies with multiple locations or branches
  • Convenience – Attend from the comfort of your desk
  • Concise training – In a fast-paced industry, efficiency becomes just as important as staying compliant
  • Industry recognized sessions – Earn points towards maintenance of your industry designations

Professional Development Courses – Seminars and Workshops

At these in-person sessions, you will learn the best practices on being compliant as an importer and/or exporter helping you expedite your commercial shipments rather than triggering costly delays. Our experts share their knowledge on international and cross-border shipping to keep you current with customs and participating government agency regulations.  The benefits of attending an in-person seminar or workshop include:

  • All day access – Get our experts to answer your questions one-on-one
  • Case studies and real-life examples – Examine other attendees’ trade compliance issues
  • Cost-effectiveness – More affordable than industry standards
  • Range of topics – Choose from a wide variety of seminar topics
  • Certificate of Completion – Receive a certificate for each course you attend
  • Handouts – Take home your own set of course material
  • Industry recognized sessions – Earn points towards maintenance of your industry designations
  • Networking – Connect with other like-minded professionals

For future reference, download your own 2017 Fall Trade Compliance Program today!

Importing Bulk Commodities at Estimated Volumes or Weight

Bulk commodity truck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you in the business of importing bulk commodities that are valued by weight or volume? If so, it is imperative to ensure that the values provided to Canada Customs are compliant with their valuation regulations.

Estimated Volumes vs. Actual Volumes

Many companies import a bulk commodity into Canada such as liquids, which are priced by volume. At the time of purchase, the supplier will normally use estimated volume on the customs invoice. For example 30,000 litres of fuel valued at $2.50 USD per litre = $75,000 USD.

When the product is physically loaded onto the conveyance and on its way to Canada the actual volume may not reflect the estimated value that was declared. For example: 30,000 litres estimated may in fact be 28,500 actual litres. 28,500 litres x $2.50 USD = $71,250 USD.

As the Importer of Record (IOR) is held ultimately responsible for any errors in the declaration of their imported goods, the IOR would be obligated to correct the customs entry. In this case the price payable used at the time of purchase was incorrect and the actual volume discovered at the time of loading must be submitted to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

Failure to Amend Volumes

Failure to correct the B3 Canada Customs Coding Document can lead to a penalty as outlined in the Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS) issued by CBSA to the IOR. CBSA’s Master Penalty Document, Contravention C083 states:

“Authorized person failed to make the required corrections to a declaration of value for duty within 90 days after having reason to believe that the declaration was incorrect.

Penalty

1st: $150 to a maximum of $5,000 (per issue) or $25,000 (per occurrence)
2nd: $225 to a maximum of $200,000 (per occurrence)
3rd and Subsequent: $450 to a maximum of $400,000 (per occurrence)”

 

Do you import bulk commodities with the pricing based on estimated volumes or weight? Contact us via the comments section below or email Ask Your Broker to discuss your options.

Are You Subject to a U.S. Customs Audit?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All companies importing goods into the U.S. are subject to audit – no matter their size, scope of business or resident or non-resident importer. Therefore it’s important to know what U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) looks at when determining who to audit.

CBP utilizes a strategically layered risk management approach based on the potential impact of non-compliance in order to better focus on those areas of importing which may cause significant revenue loss, harm to the U.S. economy, or threaten the health and safety of the American people.

Priority Trade Issues

Customs publicizes a list of Priority Trade Issues (PTIs) which is reviewed and updated periodically. Currently, the following issues are ones that customs considers to be high-risk:

  • Anti-dumping duty
  • Countervailing duty
  • Import Safety
  • Intellectual Property Rights
  • Textiles
  • Trade Agreements

While this list by no means restricts customs from conducting audits on transactions that fall outside of these categories, it does provide a general idea of where their primary focus presently resides.

In determining the likelihood of your firm undergoing a U.S. Customs audit, there are all sorts of other considerations which come to bear and may include:

  • Total value and/or volume of your imports
  • Variety and chapters of H.S. classification
  • Special classes of entry, such as Temporary Importation Bonds (TIB), or U.S. Goods Returned (USGR)
  • Related party transactions
  • Your firm’s internal controls, compliance policies and record keeping practices
  • Prior audit history
  • Prior penalty history

We consider that there is a clear foundation on which the adequacy and accuracy of your customs declarations stand. These include tariff classification, country of origin, and valuation. Most importers are aware of the importance of ensuring that their tariff classification is declared correctly, and they know that they must declare the proper country of manufacture of the goods, and that those goods are required to be marked with the country of origin prior to import. Valuation, however, can definitely be a trip hazard to unwary or uninformed importers. This article speaks directly to that matter.

As an Importer of Record (IOR), whether a resident of the United States or a non-resident, it is your explicit responsibility to act with reasonable care. CBP’s reasonable care standards are clearly defined, and more information can be obtained on that subject referenced in this paper.

Transaction Value (TV) is the most usual valuation methodology, and used appropriately, does fit the most frequent type of transactions. Transaction value or TV can be defined as “the price paid or payable for the merchandise.” There are a number of possible influences that may prohibit declaring TV on your imports, including:

  • Related transactions may not be eligible, depending on a number of factors
  • Leased or loaned equipment is not eligible for TV
  • Sample or “no-charge” transactions
  • Consignment shipments
  • Assists that the buyer provides to the seller must be taken into consideration
  • Other additions, such as packing, commissions, royalties, transportation must all be added to the “price paid or payable” for the merchandise

These are simply a few of the matters that must be considered when you are determining the value declared to customs.

Additional Resources

Informed Compliance Publications available on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website include a number of excellent publications. We suggest the following:

  • Reasonable Care
  • Bona Fide Sales & Sales for Exportation to the United States
  • Customs Value
  • Customs Value Encyclopedia
  • Determining the Acceptability of Transaction Value for Related Party Transactions
  • Proper Deductions for Freight and Other Costs

Customs Audit Assistance Services

If you have reason to believe that your valuation declarations may have the potential to raise flags during a customs audit, please give us a call to discuss this further. We have the expertise to guide your company through the audit process.

Preparing for a Customs Audit

To learn more and gain insight on the customs audit process, consider attending an upcoming seminar. For a session that will guide you through the maze of regulations that determine transaction value attend our upcoming Customs Valuation Seminar. If you are importing and exporting goods into the United States, you will also find our U.S. Trade Compliance Seminar of interest.

If you wish to know more about this important topic or wish to share your experiences please leave your questions or concerns in the comments section below or email us at Ask Your Broker.

Have You Received an Informed Compliance Letter from U.S. Customs?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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? Share your experience in the comments section below or email Ask Your Broker. However, if you have received a letter recently, call us immediately.

Earn Credits Towards Your Professional Development with Pacific Customs Brokers

Are you caught up on your professional development credits for 2016?

The responsibility of understanding and abiding by trade regulations falls upon all of us playing a part in global trade. We want to help your business import and export successfully. For this reason we offer a series of seminars and webinars that will educate you on just that and contribute to your professional designations’ maintenance requirements.

Whether you are a Canadian or U.S. Certified Customs Specialist (CCS), a Certified Trade Compliance Specialist (CTCS), a Certified Export Specialist (CES), a designate with the Law Society of British Columbia (LSBC) or accounting professional, taking any of Pacific Customs Brokers’ seminars and webinars will earn you maintenance points, credits and hours towards your professional designations.

Review and plan your maintenance for the second half of 2016 here.

CSCB NEI LSBC
Webinar CCS CTCS CCS CES
CDN Importing for Beginners Part 1
CDN Importing for Beginners Part 2 *5
US Importing for Beginners Part 1 1
US Importing for Beginners Part 2 *5 1
FDA Regulated Goods *5 1
CFIA Regulated Goods *5
NAFTA for Beginners Part 1 1 1
NAFTA for Beginners Part 2 *5 1 1
*Taking any three of these 1-hour events qualifies for 5 CCS points. To claim your points, contact Adriana Zamora with the three course names upon completion of the third.
Seminar
CDN Trade Compliance Part 1  5  5  –  –  –
CDN Trade Compliance Part 2  5  5  –  –  3
Exporting from Canada  5  5  3  3  –
US Trade Compliance Part 1  5  5  3  –  –
US Trade Compliance Part 2  5  5  3  –  3
HS Tariff Classification  5  –  6  –  4
FTAs & Rules of Origin  5  –  5  –  –
Customs Valuation  5  –  3.5  –  –
CFIA  5  5  –  –  –
FDA  5  5  3  –  –
C-TPAT & PIP  2.5  2.5  2  2  –

 

If you have never attended one of our courses before, the following information might help you decide on attending the next one.

Seminars and Workshops

At these in-person sessions, our experts share their knowledge on cross-border and international shipping. They will keep you current with customs and other government department regulations. You will learn the best practices on being compliant as an importer and/or exporter, helping you expedite shipments rather than trigger costly delays. The benefits of attending an in-person seminar or workshop include:

  • All day access – Get our experts to answer your questions one-on-one
  • Cost-effectiveness – More affordable than industry standards
  • Range of topics – Choose from a wider variety of seminar topics than offered in our webinar format
  • Certificate of Completion – Receive a certificate for each course you attend
  • Case studies and real-life examples – Examine other attendees’ trade compliance issues
  • Networking – Connect with other like-minded professionals
  • Handouts – Take home your own set of course material
  • Industry recognized sessions – Earn points towards maintenance of your industry designations

Webinars

Our webinars are designed to meet the demands of the global trade community. These live webinars are a convenient way for trade professionals to stay ahead of new regulations with international trade and gain additional knowledge in key areas. The benefits of attending an online course include:

  • Global accessibility – Travel is removed from the equation for companies with multiple locations or branches
  • Cost-effectiveness – Complimentary part 1 and more affordable than industry standards
  • Concise training – In a fast-paced industry, efficiency becomes just as important as staying compliant
  • Convenience – Attend from the comfort of your desk
  • Industry recognized sessions – Earn points towards maintenance of your industry designations

Have a question about any of the seminars or webinars listed above? Use the comment section below or email Ask Your Broker.