5 Examples of Reasonable Care for Shippers
“Informed Compliance” and “Shared Responsibility” are two of the guiding precepts of the Customs Modernization Act. Informed Compliance means Customs (CBP) has an obligation to provide the trade community with better information about its responsibilities under customs regulations. Shared Responsibility means that CBP and the trade community will work together to voluntarily comply with those regulations.
“Reasonable Care” is one of the main tenets of informed compliance and shared responsibility. CBP expects the trade community to use reasonable care in all aspects of its dealings with CBP’s regulations and related laws.
Though CBP recognizes deciding whether or not an importer has used reasonable care is subjective, they know it when they see it. Taking proactive steps to be informed demonstrates reasonable care. A lack of ‘reasonable care’ can result in penalties; on the other hand, the use of reasonable care can be a mitigating circumstance in a penalty situation.
Five Ways to Exercise Reasonable Care
- Designate one person who ‘knows’ the articles you import and is ‘responsible’ for the import or export process vis-à-vis CBP’s regulations and related laws.
- If you use a Customs Broker (CHB), be able to articulate why and how you chose that particular broker. Do they interact on a regular basis with your ‘knowledgeable and responsible’ person, whether by email, newsletter, or verbal communication?
- Discuss the classification and valuation processes for your imported articles. Discuss assists, royalties, records retention, country of origin, marking, buying and selling commissions, related parties with your CHB. Is your CHB willing and able to explain them?
- Be sure you and your CHB are CTPAT certified. CTPAT stands for “Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism.” More details can be found here.
- Provide CBP and/or your CHB a complete, accurate description of your product(s) and obtain binding rulings.
Remember that CBP expects both importers and exporters to apply the concept of reasonable care in every aspect of their importing and exporting process. Retaining newsletters, along with your accompanying questions to your CHB and your subsequent actions, if needed, could help articulate to CBP you have exercised reasonable care.
C J’s Compliance Officer: Samya Murray, LCB, CCS | email@example.com Please make use of our team’s expertise in these areas. There is no cost for any questions to Samya, unless the answer requires significant research and time. As always, if you prefer, you can ask your usual C J representative or send us a detailed message.
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