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CBP: Paperless Entry of ITAR-Controlled Goods; Information Collections

Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Procedures on Paperless Entry of ITAR-Controlled Goods. U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued to its field offices Feb. 5 a memo establishing the following uniform national procedures for paperless entries of commodities controlled under International Traffic in Arms Regulations licenses or license exemptions. CBP states that because its Automated Commercial System does not have a mechanism to collect information on ITAR licenses and license exemptions, entries of ITAR-controlled commodities are often released paperless without the proper presentation of the temporary import or temporary export licenses or the ITAR exemption statement. The result is a lack of proof of legal importation of ITAR-controlled goods, leading to the possibility of seizure of the commodities.

According to the memo, customs brokers must present a paper CBP Form 3461 for all entries that involve a temporary import license (DSP-61) or a temporary export license (DSP-73) issued by the State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls prior to release. Brokers must also present the temporary license for decrementation, along with all other documents necessary for entry at the time entry is made.

However, inbound shipments controlled under ITAR license exemptions will continue to be entered via the Automated Broker Interface. Filers must notate the import entry documents with the proper statements required for the exemption. At the time of export of these shipments, the exporter or agent must file the Electronic Export Information in the Automated Export System and provide on the invoice the import entry document number on which the exemption was first declared.

A CBP officer may request a copy of the import entry document to verify that the exemption was declared. If the document does not cite the appropriate exemption, the shipment will be detained and referred through the EXODUS Command Center for failing to meet the conditions of the exemption. This type of violation will require a permanent export license for the export of the controlled commodities. The exporter or agent is required to disclose the violation to DDTC and obtain a permanent export license (DSP-5) prior to the Fines, Penalties & Forfeitures procedures and release of the merchandise.

The memo states that first-time violators of these requirements will be issued a warning and allowed to make the necessary corrections and that this information will be recorded in the Treasury Enforcement Communication System. However, subsequent violations will not be considered technical violations and will not be treated as such by the ports.

CBP notes that if a continuous entry bond is available, a single-entry bond will not be required for ITAR shipments requiring a paper CBP form 3461 or for paperless entry.

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