Many of our customers have reported receiving “Informed Compliance Letters” from US Customs and Border Protection’s Regulatory Audit department. While the letters vary, the theme is the same, CBP is advising that the recipient review the company’s compliance programs, conduct internal reviews, and consider filing a prior disclosure if violations are discovered.
Deringer recommends that our clients take any communication from CBP, especially CBP’s Regulatory Audit group, very seriously. While the Informed Compliance Letter is not a guarantee that you are a target for some type of further action by CBP, it’s a good bet, and thus an incentive to check your internal compliance.
CBP uses four types of audit processes:
• Focused Assessment Audits
• Referral Audits and Other Professional Services (formerly Quick Response Audits)
• User Fee Audit
• Importer Self-Assessment Evaluations
We have learned that CBP has recently begun using another type of review that is called the Survey. The Survey consists of three parts:
• Informed Compliance Letter
• Walk through
It is possible that the recipient of the Informed Compliance Letter may be targeted for the Survey process. At this point, we do not have a copy of the Questionnaire sent to Importers, but we expect it will cover areas about the importer’s internal controls.
Below is a chart showing the differences and similarities of the various audit processes used by CBP.
* Value and classification are usually reviewed for accuracy but may not be the primary focus of the audit.
It is always a good idea to do an internal compliance review and ensure your processes are documented. Deringer is proud to offer assistance with this process. Please feel free to contact Deringer’s Compliance Department at (518) 298-8281 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.