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Procrastinators Beware

U.S.Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has increasingly taken an unyielding stancewhen it comes to various late filing scenarios. Whether an overseas forwarder has failed to submit manifest informationmore than 24 hours before onboard lading, estimated duties are not depositedwithin 10 days of entry, or a Petition for Relief is filed more than 60 daysafter a seizure notice, CBP has tightened its enforcement mechanisms to detertardy filings.

TheCBP's stringent position on late filings comes as part of a comprehensivestrategy to bolster trade transparency and accountability. Faced with evolvingsecurity challenges and the need to respond to rapidly changing trade dynamics,the agency views prompt document submission as pivotal. Delays in filing essentialtrade documentation can lead to information gaps that pose risks in terms ofsecurity threats and fraudulent activities. By imposing stricter penalties forlate filings, CBP intends to ensure that the trade community remains vigilantand proactive, reinforcing the principle that adherence to regulations is ashared responsibility between the government and trade partners.

Thishard-line stance, however, has sparked debates within the business communityand trade advocacy groups. Critics argue that while compliance is crucial, theseverity of penalties could disproportionately affect smaller businesses whohave made unintentional errors. Advocates emphasize the necessity of balancing enforcement withpractical considerations, urging CBP to provide clearer guidance, support, andpotential leniency in cases of genuine mistakes. As discussions unfold, it ishoped that CBP will be able to navigate the fine line between fortifyingnational security and promoting a business-friendly environment, and ultimatelyfind a balance between stringent enforcement and reasonable accommodation. 

Courtesyof Meeks, Sheppard, Leo & Pillsbury LLP

Ifyou have any questions about the treatment your company is receiving from CBPwhen it comes to late filings please contact Customs attorney Taylor Pillsburyor Mike Jackson via the contact page at