Customs Agencies in North America are now paying greater attention to post audit inspections rather than import inspections. The responsibilities put upon Importers of Record have steadily increased as all members of the supply chain endure higher scrutiny from Customs Officials. The management and staff of importing firms must diligently learn their responsibilities, by clearly understanding the consequences of not following rules and regulations such as:
- Monetary penalties issued by Customs and other governmental agencies
- Increased scrutiny and more frequent examination of goods
- Delays of incoming shipments
- Total suspension of import privileges
Maritime Logistics, Inc. believes that as the laws governing cross border trade become increasingly complex, more active participation is required of every member of the international trade community. This requires constant improvement in voluntary compliance, through awareness and education.
Having a thorough understanding of rules and regulations, Maritime Logistics, Inc.'s partnered Customs Brokers provide clients with assistance in managing the risks of importing, and in improving the efficiency of their processes. Our experienced professionals are tasked with improving practices in order to respond effectively to the needs of your business.
As stated by the U.S Customs and Border Protection, it is the responsibility of importers to know and understand the importation rules and regulations with which they must comply. Maritime Logistics, Inc. through our partnered Customs Brokers work with each client to develop a solid program of safe practices and methods of self-checking that will help in identifying potential risk factors as well as promote compliance and guarantee prompt correction of violations.
Customs auditors will be checking for the following:
- Record keeping
- Purchase order
- Sales invoices
- Receiving reports
- Record of payment receipt
- Physical inventory counts
- NAFTA and FTA Audits
- Proper HS Tariff Classification
- End use diversions (i.e. claimed agriculture; used for construction)
- Drawback, refund claim and amendment validations
- "Reason to Believe" responsibility
Every importer can potentially be subjected to a Customs audit. When auditing, Customs will normally look for prior history of compliance errors, poorly defined and documented internal control procedures, and/or other red flags. Every importer should be well prepared for a Customs audit.