Reasonable Care

Are you using Reasonable Care as CBP Requires? This paragraph comes from the Customs web site:

“One of the most significant effects of the Customs Modernization Act is the establishment of the clear requirement that parties exercise reasonable care in importing into the United States. Section 484 of the Tariff Act, as amended, requires an importer of record using reasonable care… Despite the seemingly simple connotation of the term reasonable care, this explicit responsibility defies easy explanation… An importer of record’s failure to exercise reasonable care… in some cases, could result in the imposition of penalties.” *

The use of ‘reasonable care’ is very important. If you, as an importer, use a Customs broker, can you articulate why and how you chose that particular broker? Can you show Customs that you and your broker discuss CBP matters that affect your imports? How often do you communicate with your broker, whether by email, newsletter or direct written or verbal communication? Have you discussed assists, royalties, records retention, how your imports are valued for Customs entry, country of origin, marking, buying and selling commissions, related parties, etc.? As an importer, are you sure you have provided Customs with a complete and accurate description of your imported articles and that the subsequent classification is correct? Do you know what CBP’s requirements are for invoice descriptions and classifications? While CBP recognizes there is no specific explanation or definition for ‘reasonable care,’ and the judgment whether an importer has or has not used ‘reasonable care’ is subjective, they know it when they see it through the proactive steps you take to be informed. As mentioned above, 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.

The use of ‘reasonable care’ in choosing your Customs broker is only one small part of the overall concept. Customs expects importers and exporters to apply the concept of ‘reasonable care’ in each and every aspect of their importing and exporting process.

Don’t take chances with reasonable care. A mandate so broadly defined, yet so important to an importer’s compliance with CBP regulations, can best be fulfilled by having a strong relationship with an experienced Customs broker like C J International, Inc. With over 20 years’ experience as a Customs broker and international freight forwarder, we have the background and the expertise to help you make sure you are compliant. Our approach is to learn all the unique facets of your business, and put our experience to work for you. We strive to be more than just a service vendor. Our goal is to be a partner in your success.

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