U.S. Customs Proposes New Power of Attorney Requirements for Customs Brokers

U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) has published potential new requirements for the processing and maintenance of a Power of Attorney (POA) by U.S. customs brokers. The requirements are not in effect yet. They are being proposed by CBP while additional comment from interested parties is gathered.

The new requirements are designed to address a mandate within the 2015 Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act (TFTEA). That mandate requires CBP to take steps to establish identity collection criteria and require verification of importer and nonresident importer clients.

Under the proposed rules, customs brokers would be required to obtain and maintain (as applicable) the following information for each importer client when being granted a POA:

  • The client’s name;
  • For a client who is an individual, the client’s date of birth;
  • For a client that is a partnership, corporation, or association, the grantor’s date of birth;
  • For a client that is a partnership, corporation, or association, the client’s trade or fictitious names;
  • The address of the client’s physical location (for a client that is a partnership, corporation, or association, the physical location would be the client’s headquarters) and telephone number;
  • The client’s email address and business website;
  • A copy of the grantor’s unexpired government-issued photo identification;
  • The client’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS) number, Employer Identification Number (EIN), or Importer of Record (IOR) number;
  • The client’s publicly available business identification number (e.g., DUNS number, etc.);
  • A recent credit report;
  • A copy of the client’s business registration and license with state or provincial authorities; and
  • The grantor’s authorization to execute power of attorney on behalf of client.

Importers should take careful note of the information highlighted in bold case as it includes personal information related to the actual grantor (person) signing the POA.

If enacted as is, such regulations would add new requirements for both customs brokers and importers. The grantor’s personal identification information would be shared with the broker and verified and/or updated annually. The above information would have to be obtained and confirmed by the broker prior to conducting business with a new importer client.

For POAs executed prior to the new rules coming into effect, brokers would have either two years (partnerships) or three years (other importer types) to obtain the above information for each of its importer clients. CBP may assess penalties up to $10,000 per violation by a broker.

Comments must be received by CBP on or before October 15, 2019. Parties may submit comments, identified by docket number, by one of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments via Docket No. USCBP-2019-0024.
  • Mail: Trade and Commercial Regulations Branch, Regulations and Rulings, Office of Trade, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 90 K Street NE, 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20229-1177.

Please contact your local Delmar Representative or email our U.S. Customs Advisory Services Group for additional information and assistance.

Additional Information:

Federal Register Notice 84 FR 40302

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