Disclosure is a "safe harbor" by which importers and drawback filers may report
to Customs errors in classification
or valuation, and other incorrect information
associated with the filing of import or drawback entry.
properly prepared and timely filed, a prior disclosure protects
the importer or drawback filer, and can significantly reduce the
amount of penalties
that would have been imposed had Customs initiated an administrative
penalty action. In
a case involving negligence or gross negligence, Customs is limited
to collecting interest on the liquidated amount found owing.
be valid, a prior disclosure must advise Customs of the circumstances
of the violation, including: the nature of the errors or incorrect
information submitted; the identity of the entries or period to
which the disclosure relates; and, provide Customs with the correct
information that should have been given.
If the errors or incorrect information result in a loss of
revenue, the importer is required to tender the additional amount
owing. In the case
of a drawback filer, it is required to tender any overpayments that
may have occurred as a result of the errors.
is often critical in prior disclosure cases, as a prior disclosure
is valid only if it is filed before Customs initiates a formal investigation
of the wrongdoing, or the prior disclosure is filed by the disclosing
party before knowledge of the initiation of the formal investigation.
While a properly prepared prior disclosure can shield an
importer or drawback filer from significant penalties, an improperly
prepared disclosure will result in the loss of that protection,
while notifying Customs of the existence of the problem.
attorneys at George R. Tuttle provide experienced guidance to importers
and drawback filers throughout the prior disclosure process; including
investigation of the circumstances of the violation, evaluation
of the nature and extent of errors, preparation of initial disclosure
report and calculation and tender of any loss of revenue, and case
information on prior disclosure can be found by clicking on any
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