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The U.S.-Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The information contained in this publication is based on the interim regulations which were published in the Federal Register on October 5, 2000 (65 Federal Register 59650-59666) and the corrections published on November 9, 2000 (65 Federal Register 67260-67264). Readers are cautioned that substantive and/or procedural changes may be made in the final regulations.

NOTICE: This publication is intended to provide guidance and information to the trade community. It reflects the Customs Service’s position on or interpretation of the applicable laws or regulations as of the date of publication, which is shown on the front cover. It does not in any way replace or supersede those laws or regulations. Only the latest official version of the laws or regulations is authoritative.

An Informed Compliance Publication May 2001

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On December 8, 1993, Title VI of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057), also known as the Customs Modernization or "Mod" Act, became effective. These provisions amended many sections of the Tariff Act of 1930 and related laws. Two new concepts that emerge from the Mod Act are "informed compliance" and "shared responsibility," which are premised on the idea that in order to maximize voluntary compliance with Customs laws and regulations, the trade community needs to be clearly and completely informed of its legal obligations. Accordingly, the Mod Act imposes a greater obligation on Customs to provide the public with improved information concerning the trade community's rights and responsibilities under the Customs and related laws. In addition, both the trade and Customs share responsibility for carrying out these requirements. For example, under Section 484 of the Tariff Act as amended (19 U.S.C. §1484), the importer of record is responsible for using reasonable care to enter, classify and determine the value of imported merchandise and to provide any other information necessary to enable Customs to properly assess duties, collect accurate statistics, and determine whether other applicable legal requirements, if any, have been met. The Customs Service is then responsible for fixing the final classification and value of the merchandise. An importer of record’s failure to exercise reasonable care could delay release of the merchandise and, in some cases, could result in the imposition of penalties.    (Fragment)


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