CUSTOMSÆ REVISED CAT KIT READY FOR IMPORTER USE
U.S. Customs has released the revised version of its Compliance Assessment Team Kit, which is used by the agency’s auditors to review the compliance of importer records.
The new CAT Kit includes previous changes announced to the program by the agency at the Customs Trade Symposium last November. It contains handbooks, audit programs, sampling plans and other policy and guidelines used by Customs’ Regulatory Audit Division and other agency specialists involved in compliance assessment.
“This release is part of the Customs Service’s ongoing commitment to improve the compliance assessment process and to minimize the intrusion on importers,” the agency said.
“The CAT Kit helps importers prepare for compliance assessments, and can be used to assist importers in conducting their own evaluations,” Customs added.
Refinements in the CAT Kit are:
* Expanded error allowance when calculating risk.
* Adjusted materiality criteria (lowered to 99 percent of the sample value).
* Revised classification test to reduce the impact of insignificant errors.
* Included revenue impact for purposes of recommending the compliance risk category.
* Added conditional period of six months or longer for importers to implement corrective controls before being subject to increased exams.
Customs also updated the CAT Kit to include the Trade Symposium commitments:
* Elimination of informal entry lines from the compliance assessment sample.
* Removal of transaction from the compliance assessment sample where the auditee is listed as the ultimate consignee yet played no role in the transaction, as reflected in the records.
* Unless lack of internal controls are apparent, errors disclosed before the commencement of the compliance assessment will not be counted as errors.
* Implementation of procedures to resolve “gray areas” of Harmonized Tariff Service classifications that arise during the compliance assessment.
* A guide for General System of Preferences.
* Establishment of a time frame in which auditors complete compliance
To download the new CAT Kit, access Customs’ Web site: http://www.customs.gov , and click onto “Importing & Exporting.”