Customs publishes AES penalty guidelines
U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Friday posted penalty guidelines, effective Feb. 1, for enforcing recent Census Bureau rules requiring exporters and forwarders to electronically file export declarations before cargo is loaded on a transport conveyance.
The regulation requiring use of the Automated Export System, or the Web-based AESDirect, and eliminating the use of paper-based export documents went into effect on July 2. Enforcement technically began on Sept. 30, but the agency postponed the assessment of penalties until it completed its guidelines for how to implement and mitigate penalties.
The new foreign trade rules increase the maximum fine for failure to file, late or incomplete filing or submitting false information to $10,000 per violation. The rules also include provisions for ocean, air, rail and truck carriers prohibiting the transport of cargo that has not been declared through AES.
CBP said first-time violators are likely to receive a warning or informational letter reminding the company about the new rules.
The penalty scale for recorded violations is:
* First offense – $750 to $2,500.
* Second offense – $1,000 to $3,500.
* Third offense – $1,500 to $5,000.
* Fourth offense and beyond – $2,000 to $10,000.
Penalty ranges can be lower based on whether there were any mitigating factors, such as voluntary self-disclosure, or whether the company involved showed clear disregard for the law by having multiple violations in the same export transaction, engaging in intentional fraud or meeting other factors. To read the full CBP legal bulletin, go to
http://www.cbp.gov/linkhandler/cgov/trade/legal/bulletins_decisions/bulletins_2009/vol43_01022009_no2/43genno2.ctt/43genno2.pdf> http://www.cbp.gov/linkhandler/cgov/trade/legal/bulletins_decisions/bulletins_2009/vol43_01022009_no2/43genno2.ctt/43genno2.pdf. ' Eric Kulisch