© [2019], NCBFAA, Washington D.C. Monday Morning eBriefing. Originally published [08/19/2019]. www.ncbfaa.orgReprinted by permission.

In the August 14 edition of the Federal Register, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has issued a proposed rule amending Section 116 of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (TFTEA) that would establish identity collection criteria and create a required verification process of the importer and nonresident importer client. CBP is requiring all brokers obtain, at a minimum, the following information from their clients: 

  1. The client’s name;
  2. For a client who is an individual, the client’s date of birth;
  3. For a client that is a partnership, corporation, or association, the grantor’s date of birth;
  4. For a client that is a partnership, corporation, or association, the client’s trade or fictitious names;
  5. 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;
  6. The client’s email address and business website;
  7. A copy of the grantor’s unexpired government-issued photo identification;
  8. The client’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS) number, employer identification number (EIN), or importer of record (IOR) number;
  9. The client’s publicly available business identification number (e.g.,Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, etc.);
  10. A recent credit report;
  11. A copy of the client’s business registration and license with state authorities; and
  12. The grantor’s authorization to execute power of attorney on behalf of the client.

CBP believes that having the broker collect the information listed above would improve the broker’s relationship with the client and could subsequently “allow for commercial fraud prevention and revenue protection and help prevent the use of shell or shelf companies by importers who attempt to evade the customs laws of the United States.” The NCBFAA Customs Committee held their monthly conference call on Thursday and had a robust discussion regarding the impact this proposed measure will have on the industry. The NCBFAA has always supported an importer verification process and the NCBFAA will work with CBP to refine the proposal so that CBP can obtain the information it needs about the identity of entities seeking to import products into the United States without imposing an undue burden on the brokerage community. The NCBFAA wants to thank everyone who submitted their questions and concerns to the Customs Committee. The Committee appreciates your comments and, while you may not receive an individual reply, please know that your comments are being read and will be considered as we continue to formulate the NCBFAA’s response to the NPRM. We urge our members to continue to submit comments and questions as you read through and analyze this Federal Register notice. If you have comments that you would like submitted to the Customs Committee, you may email NCBFAA Executive Vice President Megan Montgomery and she will forward them along to the appropriate parties.