A few years ago, U.S. Customs & Border Protection began posting notice of property seizures and their intent to forfeit the property on forfeiture.gov. Previously, CBP posted those notices at the customhouse and in newspaper publications.
Physical Posting of Bulletin Notices of Liquidation
Similarly, anytime an entry was liquidated CBP had to post the bulletin notices of liquidation in paper format at the port office, historically called the customhouse. Liquidation is the legal event which finalizes the amount of duties owed to CBP. To protest an entry (that is, officially challenge customs rate, duty, value, etc.), a protest must be filed within 180 days of liquidation. Thus, for an importer or their customs lawyer, knowing the exact date of liquidation is extremely important.
In addition to posting the bulletin notices of liquidation at the customhouse, CBP would provide courtesy notices of liquidation or notices of suspension or extension of liquidation, by mail.
Proposed rules mark an end of physical posting of bulletin notices of liquidation
CBP is updating this antiquated method of providing official notice of the liquidation of an entry. It will instead be posting those notices to their website, www.cbp.gov, in searchable format. This will be a tremendous benefit to importers, and their customs attorneys, who typically had to physically go to the port office and inspect, or in most cases – request to inspect, pages of information to locate a single entry and its date of liquidation, if they need to know the date of liquidation for protesting an entry.
CBP is taking this action by proposing to update it’s regulations, with comments due by November 14, 2016. You can read all about this proposed rulemaking by reading the entry in the Federal Register.
This is a change that this customs lawyer welcomes, with open arms.