U.S. Customs and Border Protection has posted to its website a final draft of the revised CBP Form 5106 (see attached), which will be renamed the Create/Update Importer Identity Form. This form is expected to be released in February when CBP plans to automate and modernize the process for inputting it via the Automated Commercial Environment.

The collection of the information on CBP Form 5106 is the basis for establishing bond coverage, release and entry of merchandise, liquidation, and the issuance of bills and refunds. Each person, business firm, government agency, or other organization that intends to file an import entry must file this form with the first formal entry or request for services that will result in the issuance of a bill or a refund check upon adjustment of a cash collection. This form is also filed for the ultimate consignee for whom an entry is being made.

The updated form requests a variety of additional information from importers that CBP has said will support more advanced risk analysis and provide for more informative risk assessments prior to importation. Much of this information will come from section 3, which requests personal information about company owners and officers (e.g., social security numbers and passport numbers) as well as employer identification numbers or importer of record numbers for related business entities, both current and previous.

Tom Gould, senior director, customs and international trade, for Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, states that CBP is expected to use this information to enhance its enforcement efforts. For example, if CBP finds that a company listed on the form as related to the filer has a negative import history (penalties, sanctions, liquidated damages, unpaid duties, etc.), that information could be used to target the filer for additional scrutiny. Gould adds that while many of the new data elements are optional, shipments and importers that do not provide them could see ramifications such as more inspections, document reviews, and CF-28s.

On the other hand, CBP has said the updated form will also provide for more streamlined processing for importers, brokers, sureties, and others through the ability to create, edit, and update importer information. Gould states that the revised form also provides additional benefits for companies certified under the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism and Importer Self-Assessment programs, which will not have to provide personally identifying or other information in section 3.

Current importers with a valid form 5106 on file will not be required to resubmit once the revised form is released, but if there is any reason for submitting a new form 5106 (e.g., change of name or address) the new form will be required.

For more information on the revised form 5106 or how to file, please contact Tom Gould at (213) 453-0897.

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