U.S. CUSTOMS OFFERS UPDATE ON AUDIT PROGRAM
The U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection has completed 77 focused assessments and work has begun on another 188 import audits, said Cynthia Covell, director of Customs' Regulatory Audit Division..
Customs started to phase in its new focused assessment program in 2001. The process starts by conducting a pre-assessment survey of a company's internal import controls. If weaknesses are found, the agency begins testing transactions to measure compliance and determine any revenue loss to the government.
In an update to the Treasury Advisory Committee on Commercial Operations (COAC) on April 4, Covell said it takes about six to seven months to complete a focused assessment.
Meanwhile, Customs has received 33 applications for the importer self-assessment program, she said.
ISA encourages importers to undergo a self-examination of their trade compliance processes to minimize violations. In exchange for sharing their compliance profile with Customs, importers gain exemptions from comprehensive audits and other benefits.
Five companies have been approved and six are under consideration, Covell said. The review process takes 90 days.
Customs is working to develop industry-specific standards for oil, textile, auto and other imports, Covell said.