BONNER: RULINGS ON ‘CUSTOMS BUSINESS’ NEED TO BE CHANGED
U.S. Customs Commissioner Robert Bonner on Friday told industry executives that he would like to see an option paper relevant to a change or revocation of current Customs rulings on what constitutes “Customs business.”
Bonner, speaking to industry executives at the U.S. Treasury Advisory Committee on the Commercial Operations of the Customs (COAC), said he has received industry input to change rulings that prohibit licensed employees from providing advice on customs issues to related subsidiary corporations.
“A change in the ruling seems to have some merit,” Bonner said. “If the rule is wrong, then it needs to be changed.” Bonner added that the Office of Regulations and Rulings should take the lead on this issue, and within one week. He said that, by then, he wants OR&R to generate an opinion paper to look at changes that could be considered on these rulings, which limit what services sister subsidiaries may provide for peer companies in customs compliance issues.
One industry executive in the group supported the change or revocation of the four rulings that have been promulgated from Customs since 1999. “They pit U.S. Customs against the Modernization Act,” said Leslie Cazas, corporate manager for the customs and trade administration group of Nissan North America. “These rulings fly in the face of account-based management; the trade is unwilling to accept a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ approach.”