American Shipper

CUSTOMS OR&R HEADQUARTERS CUTS RULINGS BACKLOG

CUSTOMS OR&R HEADQUARTERS CUTS RULINGS BACKLOG

   U.S. Customs Commissioner Robert C. Bonner said Thursday the Office of Regulations and Rulings had met his challenge of eliminating the backlog of ruling requests by Sept. 30.

   Since Feb. 1,, the office has issued more than 1,000 rulings, covering nearly all aspects of the customs laws including classification, valuation, special trade programs, country of origin, and drawback.

   “The trade has been very vocal about the need for reform,” Bonner said. “Our staff in OR&R made the necessary changes without affecting the quality of the rulings. I salute them for their commitments to efficiency and effectiveness.”

   “In an eight month period, our Customs attorneys focused on the rulings backlog while continuing to process incoming ruling requests within the 90-day standard Commissioner Bonner set,' said Michael T. Schmitz, OR&R Assistant Commissioner Michael T. Schmitz. 'Today new ruling requests are being processed in less than 90 days.”

   Under the Customs Binding Rulings Program, importers can request a written ruling or advice on a range of issues. These include proper tariff classification, country of origin marking, eligibility for duty drawback, valuation, merchandise entry requirements and other transportation-related matters. Complex and difficult rulings on an importer’s product are sent to OR&R at Customs headquarters for the agency’s interpretation of customs laws and regulations.