U.S. CUSTOMS STOPS CAPTURING SECURITY ON CF 28 FORMS
The Bureau of Customs and Border Protection has ended the practice of using a questionnaire designed for tariff purposes to gather information about a company's security policies and practices.
'We have directed our field directors to cease sending CF 28s with the 11 questions related to supply chain security' and not seek responses from those that received the forms, said Jay Ahern, assistant commissioner for field operations, during a public meeting with industry advisors. The decision was made because Customs did not seek required approval from the Office of Management and Budget, he said.
The CF 28 form is a request for information sent to companies by import specialists to help classify, appraise and determine the admissibility of imported merchandise after it has entered the United States. But transportation brokers and importers complained that Customs began adding security questions in an apparent attempt to get information from companies that have not shared security profile with the border security agency as part of the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT).
The penalties for failing to respond to CF 28 requests include redelivering the cargo to Customs or fines based on the value of the goods. Many importers say they felt pressure to join C-TPAT, and that Customs used the form, along with the implied threat of sanctions, as a way to get C-TPAT type data from companies that had not voluntarily joined C-TPAT.
'They are using what they have at hand in ways not intended,' said Kenneth Bargteil, vice president of Kuehne & Nagel, in an interview at the recent National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America conference in San Antonio. 'The implications for the trade are rather chilling.'