CBP Publishes Proposed Rule re: Customs Broker Recordkeeping Requirements

On March 23, 2010, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published a notice of proposed amendments to title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) regarding customs broker recordkeeping requirements as they pertain to the location and method of record retention. 

Specifically, CBP proposes to amend the regulations to permit a licensed customs broker to store records relating to his customs transactions at any location within the customs territory of the United States, so long as the broker's designated recordkeeping contact, identified in the broker's permit application, makes all records available to CBP within a reasonable period of time from request at the broker district that covers the CBP port to which the records relate. 

This proposed rule also intends to remove the requirement, as it currently applies to brokers who maintain separate electronic records, that certain entry records must be retained in their original format for the 120-day period after the release or conditional release of imported merchandise. The changes proposed in the notice are intended to conform CBP's recordkeeping requirements to reflect modern business practices whereby documents are often generated, stored and transmitted in an electronic format. The proposed changes serve to remove duplicative recordkeeping requirements and streamline recordkeeping procedures for brokers who maintain electronic recordkeeping systems without compromising the agency's ability to monitor and enforce recordkeeping compliance.

Comments must be received on or before May 24, 2010.