About GPO   |   Newsroom/Media   |   Congressional Relations   |   Inspector General   |   Careers   |   Contact   |   askGPO   |   Help  
 
Home   |   Customers   |   Vendors   |   Libraries  

The Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR) is a regularly updated, unofficial editorial compilation of CFR material and Federal Register amendments produced by the National Archives and Records Administration's Office of the Federal Register (OFR) and the Government Printing Office.

Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules for the Code of Federal Regulations and the United States Code
Text | PDF

Find, review, and submit comments on Federal rules that are open for comment and published in the Federal Register using Regulations.gov.

Purchase individual CFR titles from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore.

Find issues of the CFR (including issues prior to 1996) at a local Federal depository library.

[1]
 
 

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of October 22, 2014

Title 19Chapter I → Part 111


Title 19: Customs Duties


PART 111—CUSTOMS BROKERS


Contents
§111.0   Scope.

Subpart A—General Provisions

§111.1   Definitions.
§111.2   License and district permit required.
§111.3   [Reserved]
§111.4   Transacting customs business without a license.
§111.5   Representation before Government agencies.

Subpart B—Procedure To Obtain License or Permit

§111.11   Basic requirements for a license.
§111.12   Application for license.
§111.13   Written examination for individual license.
§111.14   Investigation of the license applicant.
§111.15   Issuance of license.
§111.16   Denial of license.
§111.17   Review of the denial of a license.
§111.18   Reapplication for license.
§111.19   Permits.

Subpart C—Duties and Responsibilities of Customs Brokers

§111.21   Record of transactions.
§111.22   [Reserved]
§111.23   Retention of records.
§111.24   Records confidential.
§111.25   Records must be available.
§111.26   Interference with examination of records.
§111.27   Audit or inspection of records.
§111.28   Responsible supervision.
§111.29   Diligence in correspondence and paying monies.
§111.30   Notification of change of business address, organization, name, or location of business records; status report; termination of brokerage business.
§111.31   Conflict of interest.
§111.32   False information.
§111.33   Government records.
§111.34   Undue influence upon Department of Homeland Security employees.
§111.35   Acceptance of fees from attorneys.
§111.36   Relations with unlicensed persons.
§111.37   Misuse of license or permit.
§111.38   False representation to procure employment.
§111.39   Advice to client.
§111.40   Protests.
§111.41   Endorsement of checks.
§111.42   Relations with person who is notoriously disreputable or whose license is under suspension, canceled “with prejudice,” or revoked.
§§111.43-111.44   [Reserved]
§111.45   Revocation by operation of law.

Subpart D—Cancellation, Suspension, or Revocation of License or Permit, and Monetary Penalty in Lieu of Suspension or Revocation

§111.50   General.
§111.51   Cancellation of license or permit.
§111.52   Voluntary suspension of license or permit.
§111.53   Grounds for suspension or revocation of license or permit.
§111.54   [Reserved]
§111.55   Investigation of complaints.
§111.56   Review of report on investigation.
§111.57   Determination by Assistant Commissioner.
§111.58   Content of statement of charges.
§111.59   Preliminary proceedings.
§111.60   Request for additional information.
§111.61   Decision on preliminary proceedings.
§111.62   Contents of notice of charges.
§111.63   Service of notice and statement of charges.
§111.64   Service of notice of hearing and other papers.
§111.65   Extension of time for hearing.
§111.66   Failure to appear.
§111.67   Hearing.
§111.68   Proposed findings and conclusions.
§111.69   Recommended decision by hearing officer.
§111.70   Additional submissions.
§111.71   Immaterial mistakes.
§111.72   Dismissal subject to new proceedings.
§111.73   [Reserved]
§111.74   Decision and notice of suspension or revocation or monetary penalty.
§111.75   Appeal from the Secretary's decision.
§111.76   Reopening the case.
§111.77   Notice of vacated or modified order.
§111.78   Reprimands.
§111.79   Employment of broker who has lost license.
§111.80   [Reserved]
§111.81   Settlement and compromise.

Subpart E—Monetary Penalty and Payment of Fees

§111.91   Grounds for imposition of a monetary penalty; maximum penalty.
§111.92   Notice of monetary penalty.
§111.93   Petition for relief from monetary penalty.
§111.94   Decision on monetary penalty.
§111.95   Supplemental petition for relief from monetary penalty.
§111.96   Fees.

Authority: 19 U.S.C. 66, 1202 (General Note 3(i), Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States), 1624, 1641.

Section 111.3 also issued under 19 U.S.C. 1484, 1498;

Section 111.96 also issued under 19 U.S.C. 58c, 31 U.S.C. 9701.

Source: T.D. 00-17, 65 FR 13891, Mar. 15, 2000, unless otherwise noted.

§111.0   Scope.

This part sets forth regulations providing for the licensing of, and granting of permits to, persons desiring to transact customs business as customs brokers, including the qualifications required of applicants, and the procedures for applying for licenses and permits. This part also prescribes the duties and responsibilities of brokers, the grounds and procedures for disciplining brokers, including the assessment of monetary penalties, and the revocation or suspension of licenses and permits.

Subpart A—General Provisions

§111.1   Definitions.

When used in this part, the following terms have the meanings indicated:

Assistant Commissioner. “Assistant Commissioner” means the Assistant Commissioner, Office of International Trade, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Washington, DC.

Broker. “Broker” means a customs broker.

Corporate compliance activity. “Corporate compliance activity” means activity performed by a business entity to ensure that documents for a related business entity or entities are prepared and filed with CBP using “reasonable care”, but such activity does not extend to the actual preparation or filing of the documents or their electronic equivalents. For purposes of this definition, a “business entity” is an entity that is registered or otherwise on record with an appropriate governmental authority for business licensing, taxation, or other legal purposes, and the term “related business entity or entities” encompasses a business entity that has more than a 50 percent ownership interest in another business entity, a business entity in which another business entity has more than a 50 percent ownership interest, and two or more business entities in which the same business entity has more than a 50 percent ownership interest.

Customs broker. “Customs broker” means a person who is licensed under this part to transact customs business on behalf of others.

Customs business. “Customs business” means those activities involving transactions with CBP concerning the entry and admissibility of merchandise, its classification and valuation, the payment of duties, taxes, or other charges assessed or collected by CBP on merchandise by reason of its importation, and the refund, rebate, or drawback of those duties, taxes, or other charges. “Customs business” also includes the preparation, and activities relating to the preparation, of documents in any format and the electronic transmission of documents and parts of documents intended to be filed with CBP in furtherance of any other customs business activity, whether or not signed or filed by the preparer. However, “customs business” does not include the mere electronic transmission of data received for transmission to CBP and does not include a corporate compliance activity.

District. “District” means the geographic area covered by a customs broker permit other than a national permit. A listing of each district, and the ports thereunder, will be published periodically.

Employee. “Employee” means a person who meets the common law definition of employee and is in the service of a customs broker.

Freight forwarder. “Freight forwarder” means a person engaged in the business of dispatching shipments in foreign commerce between the United States, its territories or possessions, and foreign countries, and handling the formalities incident to such shipments, on behalf of other persons.

Officer. “Officer”, when used in the context of an association or corporation, means a person who has been elected, appointed, or designated as an officer of an association or corporation in accordance with statute and the articles of incorporation, articles of agreement, charter, or bylaws of the association or corporation.

Permit. “Permit” means any permit issued to a broker under §111.19.

Person. “Person” includes individuals, partnerships, associations, and corporations.

Records. “Records” means documents, data and information referred to in, and required to be made or maintained under, this part and any other records, as defined in §163.1(a) of this chapter, that are required to be maintained by a broker under part 163 of this chapter.

Region. “Region” means the geographic area covered by a waiver issued pursuant to §111.19(d).

Responsible supervision and control. “Responsible supervision and control” means that degree of supervision and control necessary to ensure the proper transaction of the customs business of a broker, including actions necessary to ensure that an employee of a broker provides substantially the same quality of service in handling customs transactions that the broker is required to provide. While the determination of what is necessary to perform and maintain responsible supervision and control will vary depending upon the circumstances in each instance, factors which CBP will consider include, but are not limited to: The training required of employees of the broker; the issuance of written instructions and guidelines to employees of the broker; the volume and type of business of the broker; the reject rate for the various customs transactions; the maintenance of current editions of CBP Regulations, the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, and CBP issuances; the availability of an individually licensed broker for necessary consultation with employees of the broker; the frequency of supervisory visits of an individually licensed broker to another office of the broker that does not have a resident individually licensed broker; the frequency of audits and reviews by an individually licensed broker of the customs transactions handled by employees of the broker; the extent to which the individually licensed broker who qualifies the district permit is involved in the operation of the brokerage; and any circumstance which indicates that an individually licensed broker has a real interest in the operations of a broker.

Department of Homeland Security or any representative of the Department of Homeland Security. “Department of Homeland Security or any representative of the Department of Homeland Security” means any office, officer, or employee of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, wherever located.

[T.D. 00-17, 65 FR 13891, Mar. 15, 2000, as amended by CBP Dec. 03-15, 68 FR 47460, Aug. 11, 2003]

§111.2   License and district permit required.

(a) License—(1) General. Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, a person must obtain the license provided for in this part in order to transact customs business as a broker.

(2) Transactions for which license is not required—(i) For one's own account. An importer or exporter transacting customs business solely on his own account and in no sense on behalf of another is not required to be licensed, nor are his authorized regular employees or officers who act only for him in the transaction of such business.

(ii) As employee of broker—(A) General. An employee of a broker, acting solely for his employer, is not required to be licensed where:

(1) Authorized to sign documents. The broker has authorized the employee to sign documents pertaining to customs business on his behalf, and has executed a power of attorney for that purpose. The broker is not required to file the power of attorney with the port director, but must provide proof of its existence to Customs upon request; or

(2) Authorized to transact other business. The broker has filed with the port director a statement identifying the employee as authorized to transact customs business on his behalf. However, no statement will be necessary when the broker is transacting customs business under an exception to the district permit rule.

(B) Broker supervision; withdrawal of authority. Where an employee has been given authority under paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of this section, the broker must exercise sufficient supervision of the employee to ensure proper conduct on the part of the employee in the transaction of customs business, and the broker will be held strictly responsible for the acts or omissions of the employee within the scope of his employment and for any other acts or omissions of the employee which, through the exercise of reasonable care and diligence, the broker should have foreseen. The broker must promptly notify the port director if authority granted to an employee under paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of this section is withdrawn. The withdrawal of authority will be effective upon receipt by the port director.

(iii) Marine transactions. A person transacting business in connection with entry or clearance of vessels or other regulation of vessels under the navigation laws is not required to be licensed as a broker.

(iv) Transportation in bond. Any carrier bringing merchandise to the port of arrival or any bonded carrier transporting merchandise for another may make entry for that merchandise for transportation in bond without being a broker.

(v) Noncommercial shipments. An individual entering noncommercial merchandise for another party is not required to be a broker, provided that the requirements of §141.33 of this chapter are met.

(vi) Foreign trade zone activities. A foreign trade zone operator or user need not be licensed as a broker in order to engage in activities within a zone that do not involve the transfer of merchandise to the customs territory of the United States.

(b) District permit—(1) General. Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, a separate permit (see §111.19) is required for each district in which a broker conducts customs business.

(2) Exceptions to district permit rule—(i) National permits. A national permit issued to a broker under §111.19(f) will constitute sufficient permit authority for the broker to act in any of the following circumstances:

(A) Employee working in client's facility (employee implant). When a broker places an employee in the facility of a client for whom the broker is conducting customs business at one or more other locations covered by a district permit issued to the broker, and provided that the employee's activities are limited to customs business in support of that broker and on behalf of that client but do not involve the filing of entries or other documents with Customs, the broker need not obtain a permit for the district within which the client's facility is located;

(B) Electronic drawback claims. A broker may file electronic drawback claims in accordance with the electronic filing procedures set forth in part 143 of this chapter even though the broker does not have a permit for the district in which the filing is made;

(C) Electronic filing. A broker may electronically file entries for merchandise from a remote location, pursuant to the terms set forth in subpart E to part 143 of this chapter, and may electronically transact other customs business even though the entry is filed, or other customs business is transacted, within a district for which the broker does not have a district permit; and

(D) Representations after entry summary acceptance. After the entry summary has been accepted by Customs, and except when a broker filed the entry as importer of record, a broker who did not file the entry, but who has been appointed by the importer of record, may orally or in person or in writing or electronically represent the importer of record before Customs on any issue arising out of that entry or concerning the merchandise covered by that entry even though the broker does not have a permit for the district within which those representations are made, provided that, if requested by Customs, the broker submits appropriate evidence of his right to represent the client on the matter at issue.

(ii) Filing of drawback claims. A broker granted a permit for one district may file drawback claims manually or electronically at the drawback office that has been designated by Customs for the purpose of filing those claims, and may represent his client before that office in matters concerning those claims, even though the broker does not have a permit for the district in which that drawback office is located.

[T.D. 00-17, 65 FR 13891, Mar. 15, 2000, as amended by CBP Dec. 03-15, 68 FR 47460, Aug. 11, 2003;CBP Dec. 09-47, 74 FR 69018, Dec. 30, 2009]

§111.3   [Reserved]

§111.4   Transacting customs business without a license.

Any person who intentionally transacts customs business, other than as provided in §111.2(a)(2), without holding a valid broker's license, will be liable for a monetary penalty for each such transaction as well as for each violation of any other provision of 19 U.S.C. 1641. The penalty will be assessed in accordance with subpart E of this part.

§111.5   Representation before Government agencies.

(a) Agencies within the Department of Homeland Security. A broker who represents a client in the importation or exportation of merchandise may represent the client before the Department of Homeland Security or any representative of the Department of Homeland Security on any matter concerning that merchandise.

(b) Agencies not within the Department of Homeland Security. In order to represent a client before any agency not within the Department of Homeland Security, a broker must comply with any regulations of that agency governing the appearance of representatives before it.

Subpart B—Procedure To Obtain License or Permit

§111.11   Basic requirements for a license.

(a) Individual. In order to obtain a broker's license, an individual must:

(1) Be a citizen of the United States on the date of submission of the application referred to in §111.12(a) and not an officer or employee of the United States Government;

(2) Attain the age of 21 prior to the date of submission of the application referred to in §111.12(a);

(3) Be of good moral character; and

(4) Have established, by attaining a passing (75 percent or higher) grade on a written examination taken within the 3-year period before submission of the application referred to in §111.12(a), that he has sufficient knowledge of customs and related laws, regulations and procedures, bookkeeping, accounting, and all other appropriate matters to render valuable service to importers and exporters.

(b) Partnership. In order to qualify for a broker's license, a partnership must have at least one member of the partnership who is a broker.

(c) Association or corporation. In order to qualify for a broker's license, an association or corporation must:

(1) Be empowered under its articles of association or articles of incorporation to transact customs business as a broker; and

(2) Have at least one officer who is a broker.

§111.12   Application for license.

(a) Submission of application and fee. An application for a broker's license must be submitted in duplicate to the director of the port where the applicant intends to do business. The application must be under oath and executed on Customs Form 3124. The application must be accompanied by the $200 application fee prescribed in §111.96(a) and one copy of the appropriate attachment required by the application form (Articles of Agreement or an affidavit signed by all partners, Articles of Agreement of the association, or the Articles of Incorporation). If the applicant proposes to operate under a trade or fictitious name in one or more States, evidence of the applicant's authority to use the name in each of those States must accompany the application. An application for an individual license must be submitted within the 3-year period after the applicant took and passed the written examination referred to in §§111.11(a)(4) and 111.13. The port director may require an individual applicant to provide a copy of the notification that he passed the written examination (see §111.13(e)) and will require the applicant to submit fingerprints on form FD 258 or electronically at the time of filing the application. The port director may reject an application as improperly filed if the application, on its face, demonstrates that one or more of the basic requirements set forth in §111.11 have not been met at the time of filing, in which case the application and fee will be returned to the filer without further action.

(b) Posting notice of application. Following receipt of the application, the port director will post a notice that the application has been filed. The notice will be posted conspicuously for at least 2 consecutive weeks in the customhouse at the port and similarly at any other port where the applicant also proposes to maintain an office. The notice also will be posted by appropriate electronic means. The notice will give the name and address of the applicant and, if the applicant is a partnership, association, or corporation, will state the names of all members or officers who are licensed as brokers. The notice will invite written comments or information regarding the issuance of the license.

(c) Withdrawal of application. An applicant for a broker's license may withdraw the application at any time prior to issuance of the license by providing written notice of the withdrawal to the port director. However, withdrawal of the application does not entitle the applicant to a refund of the $200 application fee.

[T.D. 00-17, 65 FR 13891, Mar. 15, 2000, as amended by T.D. 01-14, 66 FR 8767, Feb. 2, 2001]

§111.13   Written examination for individual license.

(a) Scope of examination. The written examination for an individual broker's license will be designed to determine the individual's knowledge of customs and related laws, regulations and procedures, bookkeeping, accounting, and all other appropriate matters necessary to render valuable service to importers and exporters. The examination will be prepared and graded at Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Headquarters, Washington, DC.

(b) Basic requirements, date, and place of examination. In order to be eligible to take the written examination, an individual must on the date of examination be a citizen of the United States who has attained the age of 18 years and who is not an officer or employee of the United States Government. Written examinations will be given on the first Monday in April and October unless the regularly scheduled examination date conflicts with a national holiday, religious observance, or other foreseeable event and the agency publishes in the Federal Register an appropriate notice of a change in the examination date. An individual who intends to take the written examination must so advise the port director in writing at least 30 calendar days prior to the scheduled examination date and must remit the $200 examination fee prescribed in §111.96(a) at that time. The port director will give notice of the exact time and place for the examination.

(c) Special examination. If a partnership, association, or corporation loses the required member or officer having an individual broker's license (see §§111.11(b) and (c)(2)) and its license would be revoked by operation of law under the provisions of 19 U.S.C. 1641(b)(5) and §111.45(a) before the next scheduled written examination, CBP may authorize a special written examination for a prospective applicant for an individual license who would serve as the required licensed member or officer. CBP may also authorize a special written examination for an individual for purposes of continuing the business of a sole proprietorship broker. A special written examination for an individual may also be authorized by CBP if a brokerage firm loses the individual broker who was exercising responsible supervision and control over an office in another district (see §111.19(d)) and the permit for that additional district would be revoked by operation of law under the provisions of 19 U.S.C. 1641(c)(3) and §111.45(b) before the next scheduled written examination. A request for a special written examination must be submitted to the port director in writing and must describe the circumstances giving rise to the need for the examination. If the request is granted, the port director will notify the prospective examinee of the exact time and place for the examination. If the individual attains a passing grade on the special written examination, the application for the license may be submitted in accordance with §111.12. The examinee will be responsible for all additional costs incurred by CBP in preparing and administering the special examination that exceed the $200 examination fee prescribed in §111.96(a), and those additional costs must be reimbursed to CBP before the examination is given.

(d) Failure to appear for examination. If a prospective examinee advises the port director at least 2 working days prior to the date of a regularly scheduled written examination that he will not appear for the examination, the port director will refund the $200 examination fee referred to in paragraph (b) of this section. No refund of the examination fee or additional reimbursed costs will be made in the case of a special written examination provided for under paragraph (c) of this section.

(e) Notice of examination result. CBP will provide to each examinee written notice of the result of the examination taken under this section. A failure of an examinee to attain a passing grade on the examination will preclude the submission of an application under §111.12 but will not preclude the examinee from taking an examination again at a later date in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section.

(f) Appeal of failing grade on examination. If an examinee fails to attain a passing grade on the examination taken under this section, the examinee may challenge that result by filing a written appeal with Trade Policy and Programs, Office of International Trade, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Washington, DC 20005 within 60 calendar days after the date of the written notice provided for in paragraph (e) of this section. CBP will provide to the examinee written notice of the decision on the appeal. If the CBP decision on the appeal affirms the result of the examination, the examinee may request review of the decision on the appeal by writing to the Assistant Commissioner, Office of International Trade, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, within 60 calendar days after the date of the notice on that decision.

[T.D. 00-17, 65 FR 13891, Mar. 15, 2000, as amended by T.D. 03-23, 68 FR 31977, May 29, 2003, CBP Dec. 09-38, 74 FR 52401, Oct. 13, 2009; CBP Dec. 10-29, 75 FR 52458, Aug. 26, 2010]

§111.14   Investigation of the license applicant.

(a) Referral of application for investigation. The port director will immediately refer an application for an individual, partnership, association, or corporation license to the special agent in charge or other entity designated by Headquarters for investigation and report.

(b) Scope of investigation. An investigation under this section will ascertain facts relevant to the question of whether the applicant is qualified and will cover, but need not be limited to:

(1) The accuracy of the statements made in the application;

(2) The business integrity of the applicant; and

(3) When the applicant is an individual (including a member of a partnership or an officer of an association or corporation), the character and reputation of the applicant.

(c) Referral to Headquarters. The port director will forward the originals of the application and the report of investigation to the Assistant Commissioner. The port director will also submit his recommendation for action on the application.

(d) Additional investigation or inquiry. The Assistant Commissioner may require further investigation to be conducted if additional facts are deemed necessary to pass upon the application. The Assistant Commissioner may also require the applicant (or in the case of a partnership, association, or corporation, one or more of its members or officers) to appear in person before him or before one or more representatives of the Assistant Commissioner for the purpose of undergoing further written or oral inquiry into the applicant's qualifications for a license.

§111.15   Issuance of license.

If the Assistant Commissioner finds that the applicant is qualified and has paid all applicable fees prescribed in §111.96(a), he will issue a license. A license for an individual who is a member of a partnership or an officer of an association or corporation will be issued in the name of the individual licensee and not in his capacity as a member or officer of the organization with which he is connected. The license will be forwarded to the port director, who will deliver it to the licensee.

§111.16   Denial of license.

(a) Notice of denial. If the Assistant Commissioner determines that the application for a license should be denied for any reason, notice of denial will be given by him to the applicant and to the director of the port at which the application was filed. The notice of denial will state the reasons why the license was not issued.

(b) Grounds for denial. The grounds sufficient to justify denial of an application for a license include, but need not be limited to:

(1) Any cause which would justify suspension or revocation of the license of a broker under the provisions of §111.53;

(2) The failure to meet any requirement set forth in §111.11;

(3) A failure to establish the business integrity and good character of the applicant;

(4) Any willful misstatement of pertinent facts in the application for the license;

(5) Any conduct which would be deemed unfair in commercial transactions by accepted standards; or

(6) A reputation imputing to the applicant criminal, dishonest, or unethical conduct, or a record of that conduct.

§111.17   Review of the denial of a license.

(a) By the Assistant Commissioner. Upon the denial of an application for a license, the applicant may file with the Assistant Commissioner, in writing, a request that further opportunity be given for the presentation of information or arguments in support of the application by personal appearance, or in writing, or both. This request must be received by the Assistant Commissioner within 60 calendar days of the denial.

(b) By the Secretary. Upon the decision of the Assistant Commissioner affirming the denial of an application for a license, the applicant may file with the Secretary of Homeland Security, or his designee, in writing, a request for any additional review that the Secretary deems appropriate. This request must be received by the Secretary within 60 calendar days of the Assistant Commissioner's affirmation of the denial of the application for a license.

(c) By the Court of International Trade. Upon a decision of the Secretary of Homeland Security, or his designee affirming the denial of an application for a license, the applicant may appeal the decision to the Court of International Trade, provided that the appeal action is commenced within 60 calendar days after the date of entry of the Secretary's decision.

§111.18   Reapplication for license.

An applicant who has been denied a license may reapply at any time by complying with the provisions of §111.12.

§111.19   Permits.

(a) General. Each person granted a broker's license under this part will be concurrently issued a permit for the district in which the port through which the license was delivered to the licensee (see §111.15) is located and without the payment of the $100 fee required by §111.96(b), if it is shown to the satisfaction of the port director that the person intends to transact customs business within that district and the person otherwise complies with the requirements of this part.

(b) Submission of application for initial or additional district permit. A broker who intends to conduct customs business at a port within another district for which he does not have a permit, or a broker who was not concurrently granted a permit with the broker's license under paragraph (a) of this section, and except as otherwise provided in paragraph (f) of this section, must submit an application for a permit in a letter to the director of the port at which he intends to conduct customs business. Each application for a permit must set forth or attach the following:

(1) The applicant's broker license number and date of issuance;

(2) The address where the applicant's office will be located within the district and the telephone number of that office;

(3) A copy of a document which reserves the applicant's business name with the state or local government;

(4) The name of the individual broker who will exercise responsible supervision and control over the customs business transacted in the district;

(5) A list of all other districts for which the applicant has a permit to transact customs business;

(6) The place where the applicant's brokerage records will be retained and the name of the applicant's designated recordkeeping contact (see §§111.21 and 111.23); and

(7) A list of all persons who the applicant knows will be employed in the district, together with the specific employee information prescribed in §111.28(b)(1)(i) for each of those prospective employees.

(c) Fees. Each application for a district permit under paragraph (b) of this section must be accompanied by the $100 and $138 fees specified in §§111.96(b) and (c). In the case of an application for a national permit under paragraph (f) of this section, the $100 fee specified in §111.96(b) and the $138 fee specified in §111.96(c) must be paid at the port through which the applicant's license was delivered (see §111.15) prior to submission of the application. The $138 fee specified in §111.96(c) also must be paid in connection with the issuance of an initial district permit concurrently with the issuance of a license under paragraph (a) of this section.

(d) Responsible supervision and control—(1) General. The applicant for a district permit must have a place of business at the port where the application is filed, or must have made firm arrangements satisfactory to the port director to establish a place of business, and must exercise responsible supervision and control over that place of business once the permit is granted. Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (d)(2) of this section, the applicant must employ in each district for which a permit is granted at least one individual broker to exercise responsible supervision and control over the customs business conducted in the district.

(2) Exception to district rule. If the applicant can demonstrate to the satisfaction of CBP that he regularly employs at least one individual broker in a larger geographical area in which the district is located and that adequate procedures exist for that individual broker to exercise responsible supervision and control over the customs business conducted in the district, CBP may waive the requirement for an individual broker in that district. A request for a waiver under this paragraph, supported by information on the volume and type of customs business conducted, or planned to be conducted, and supported by evidence demonstrating that the applicant is able to exercise responsible supervision and control through the individual broker employed in the larger geographical area, must be sent to the port director in the district in which the waiver is sought. The port director will review the request for a waiver and make recommendations which will be sent to the Office of International Trade, CBP Headquarters, for review and decision. A written decision on the waiver request will be issued by the Office of International Trade and, if the waiver is granted, the decision letter will specify the region covered by the waiver.

(e) Action on application; list of permitted brokers. The port director who receives the application will issue a written decision on the district permit application and will issue the district permit if the applicant meets the requirements of paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of this section. If the port director is of the opinion that the district permit should not be issued, he will submit his written reasons for that opinion to the Office of International Trade, CBP Headquarters, for appropriate instructions on whether to grant or deny the district permit. Each port director will maintain and make available to the public an alphabetical list of brokers permitted through his port.

(f) National permit. A broker who has a district permit issued under paragraph (a) or paragraph (e) of this section may apply for a national permit for the purpose of transacting customs business in any circumstance described in §111.2(b)(2)(i). An application for a national permit under this paragraph must be in the form of a letter addressed to the Office of International Trade, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Washington, DC 20229, and must:

(1) Identify the applicant's broker license number and date of issuance;

(2) Set forth the address and telephone number of the office designated by the applicant as the office of record for purposes of administration of the provisions of this part regarding all activities of the applicant conducted under the national permit. That office will be noted in the national permit when issued;

(3) Set forth the name, broker license number, office address, and telephone number of the individual broker who will exercise responsible supervision and control over the activities of the applicant conducted under the national permit; and

(4) Attach a receipt or other evidence showing that the fees specified in §111.96(b) and (c) have been paid in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section.

(g) Review of the denial of a permit—(1) By the Assistant Commissioner. Upon the denial of an application for a permit under this section, the applicant may file with the Assistant Commissioner, in writing, a request that further opportunity be given for the presentation of information or arguments in support of the application by personal appearance, or in writing, or both. This request must be received by the Assistant Commissioner within 60 calendar days of the denial.

(2) By the Court of International Trade. Upon a decision of the Assistant Commissioner affirming the denial of an application for a permit under this section, the applicant may appeal the decision to the Court of International Trade, provided that the appeal action is commenced within 60 calendar days after the date of entry of the Assistant Commissioner's decision.

[T.D. 00-17, 65 FR 13891, Mar. 15, 2000, as amended by T.D. 01-14, 66 FR 8767, Feb. 2, 2001; CBP Dec. 03-13, 68 FR 43630, July 24, 2003; 72 FR 3734, Jan. 26, 2007]

Subpart C—Duties and Responsibilities of Customs Brokers

§111.21   Record of transactions.

(a) Each broker must keep current in a correct, orderly, and itemized manner records of account reflecting all his financial transactions as a broker. He must keep and maintain on file copies of all his correspondence and other records relating to his customs business.

(b) Each broker must comply with the provisions of this part and part 163 of this chapter when maintaining records that reflect on his transactions as a broker.

(c) Each broker must designate a knowledgeable company employee to be the contact for Customs for broker-wide customs business and financial recordkeeping requirements.

§111.22   [Reserved]

§111.23   Retention of records.

(a) Place of retention. A licensed customs broker may retain records relating to its customs transactions at any location within the customs territory of the United States in accordance with the provisions of this part and part 163 of this chapter. Upon request by CBP to examine records, the designated recordkeeping contact identified in the broker's applicable permit application, in accordance with §111.19(b)(6) of this chapter, must make all records available to CBP within 30 calendar days, or such longer time as specified by CBP, at the broker district that covers the CBP port to which the records relate.

(b) Period of retention. The records described in this section, other than powers of attorney, must be retained for at least 5 years after the date of entry. Powers of attorney must be retained until revoked, and revoked powers of attorney and letters of revocation must be retained for 5 years after the date of revocation or for 5 years after the date the client ceases to be an “active client” as defined in §111.29(b)(2)(ii), whichever period is later. When merchandise is withdrawn from a bonded warehouse, records relating to the withdrawal must be retained for 5 years from the date of withdrawal of the last merchandise withdrawn under the entry.

[CBP Dec. 12-12, 77 FR 33966, June 8, 2012]

§111.24   Records confidential.

The records referred to in this part and pertaining to the business of the clients serviced by the broker are to be considered confidential, and the broker must not disclose their contents or any information connected with the records to any persons other than those clients, their surety on a particular entry, and the Field Director, Office of International Trade, Regulatory Audit, the special agent in charge, the port director, or other duly accredited officers or agents of the United States, except on subpoena by a court of competent jurisdiction.

§111.25   Records must be available.

During the period of retention, the broker must maintain the records referred to in this part in such a manner that they may readily be examined. Records required to be made or maintained under the provisions of this part must be made available upon reasonable notice for inspection, copying, reproduction or other official use by CBP regulatory auditors or special agents or other authorized CBP officers within the prescribed period of retention or within any longer period of time during which they remain in the possession of the broker. Records subject to the requirements of part 163 of this chapter must be made available to Customs in accordance with the provisions of that part.

§111.26   Interference with examination of records.

Except in accordance with the provisions of part 163 of this chapter, a broker must not refuse access to, conceal, remove, or destroy the whole or any part of any record relating to his transactions as a broker which is being sought, or which the broker has reasonable grounds to believe may be sought, by the Department of Homeland Security or any representative of the Department of Homeland Security, nor may he otherwise interfere, or attempt to interfere, with any proper and lawful efforts to procure or reproduce information contained in those records.

§111.27   Audit or inspection of records.

The Field Director, Regulatory Audit, will make any audit or inspection of the records required by this subpart to be kept and maintained by a broker as may be necessary to enable the port director and other proper officials of the Treasury Department to determine whether or not the broker is complying with the requirements of this part.

§111.28   Responsible supervision.

(a) General. Every individual broker operating as a sole proprietor and every licensed member of a partnership that is a broker and every licensed officer of an association or corporation that is a broker must exercise responsible supervision and control (see §111.1) over the transaction of the customs business of the sole proprietorship, partnership, association, or corporation.

(b) Employee information—(1) Current employees—(i) General. Each broker must submit, in writing, to the director of each port at which the broker intends to transact customs business, a list of the names of persons currently employed by the broker at that port. The list of employees must be submitted upon issuance of a permit for an additional district under §111.19, or upon the opening of an office at a port within a district for which the broker already has a permit, and before the broker begins to transact customs business as a broker at the port. For each employee, the broker also must provide the social security number, date and place of birth, current home address, last prior home address, and, if the employee has been employed by the broker for less than 3 years, the name and address of each former employer and dates of employment for the 3-year period preceding current employment with the broker. After the initial submission, an updated list, setting forth the name, social security number, date and place of birth, and current home address of each current employee, must be submitted with the status report required by §111.30(d).

(ii) New employees. In the case of a new employee, the broker must submit to the port director the written information required under paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section within 10 calendar days after the new employee has been employed by the broker for 30 consecutive days.

(2) Terminated employees. Within 30 calendar days after the termination of employment of any person employed longer than 30 consecutive days, the broker must submit the name of the terminated employee, in writing, to the director of the port at which the person was employed.

(3) Broker's responsibility. Notwithstanding a broker's responsibility for providing the information required in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, in the absence of culpability by the broker, Customs will not hold him responsible for the accuracy of any information that is provided to the broker by the employee.

(c) Termination of qualifying member or officer. In the case of an individual broker who is a qualifying member of a partnership for purposes of §111.11(b) or who is a qualifying officer of an association or corporation for purposes of §111.11(c)(2), that individual broker must immediately provide written notice to the Assistant Commissioner when his employment as a qualifying member or officer terminates and must send a copy of the written notice to the director of each port through which a permit has been granted to the partnership, association, or corporation.

(d) Change in ownership. If the ownership of a broker changes and ownership shares in the broker are not publicly traded, the broker must immediately provide written notice of that fact to the Assistant Commissioner and must send a copy of the written notice to the director of each port through which a permit has been granted to the broker. When a change in ownership results in the addition of a new principal to the organization, and whether or not ownership shares in the broker are publicly traded, Customs reserves the right to conduct a background investigation on the new principal. The port director will notify the broker if Customs objects to the new principal, and the broker will be given a reasonable period of time to remedy the situation. If the investigation uncovers information which would have been the basis for a denial of an application for a broker's license and the principal's interest in the broker is not terminated to the satisfaction of the port director, suspension or revocation proceedings may be initiated under subpart D of this part. For purposes of this paragraph, a “principal” means any person having at least a 5 percent capital, beneficiary or other direct or indirect interest in the business of a broker.

§111.29   Diligence in correspondence and paying monies.

(a) Due diligence by broker. Each broker must exercise due diligence in making financial settlements, in answering correspondence, and in preparing or assisting in the preparation and filing of records relating to any customs business matter handled by him as a broker. Payment of duty, tax, or other debt or obligation owing to the Government for which the broker is responsible, or for which the broker has received payment from a client, must be made to the Government on or before the date that payment is due. Payments received by a broker from a client after the due date must be transmitted to the Government within 5 working days from receipt by the broker. Each broker must provide a written statement to a client accounting for funds received for the client from the Government, or received from a client where no payment to the Government has been made, or received from a client in excess of the Governmental or other charges properly payable as part of the client's customs business, within 60 calendar days of receipt. No written statement is required if there is actual payment of the funds by a broker.

(b) Notice to client of method of payment—(1) All brokers must provide their clients with the following written notification:

If you are the importer of record, payment to the broker will not relieve you of liability for customs charges (duties, taxes, or other debts owed CBP) in the event the charges are not paid by the broker. Therefore, if you pay by check, customs charges may be paid with a separate check payable to the “U.S. Customs and Border Protection” which will be delivered to CBP by the broker.

(2) The written notification set forth in paragraph (b)(1) of this section must be provided by brokers as follows:

(i) On, or attached to, any power of attorney provided by the broker to a client for execution on or after September 27, 1982; and

(ii) To each active client no later than February 28, 1983, and at least once at any time within each 12-month period after that date. An active client means a client from whom a broker has obtained a power of attorney and for whom the broker has transacted customs business on at least two occasions within the 12-month period preceding notification.

§111.30   Notification of change of business address, organization, name, or location of business records; status report; termination of brokerage business.

(a) Change of address. When a broker changes his business address, he must immediately give written notice of his new address to each director of a port that is affected by the change of address. In addition, if an individual broker is not actively engaged in transacting business as a broker and changes his non-business mailing address, he must give written notice of the new address in the status report required by paragraph (d) of this section.

(b) Change in an organization. A partnership, association, or corporation broker must immediately provide written notice of any of the following to the director of each port through which it has been granted a permit:

(1) The date on which a licensed member or officer ceases to be the qualifying member or officer for purposes of §111.11(b) or (c)(2), and the name of the broker who will succeed as the qualifying member or officer; and

(2) Any change in the Articles of Agreement, Charter, or Articles of Incorporation relating to the transaction of customs business, or any other change in the legal nature of the organization (for example, conversion of a general partnership to a limited partnership, merger with another organization, divestiture of a part of the organization, or entry into bankruptcy protection).

(c) Change in name. A broker who changes his name, or who proposes to operate under a trade or fictitious name in one or more States within the district in which he has been granted a permit and is authorized by State law to do so, must submit to the Office of International Trade, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Washington, DC 20229, evidence of his authority to use that name. The name must not be used until the approval of Headquarters has been received. In the case of a trade or fictitious name, the broker must affix his own name in conjunction with each signature of the trade or fictitious name when signing customs documents.

(d) Status report—(1) General. Each broker must file a written status report with Customs on February 1, 1985, and on February 1 of each third year after that date. The report must be accompanied by the fee prescribed in §111.96(d) and must be addressed to the director of the port through which the license was delivered to the licensee (see §111.15). A report received during the month of February will be considered filed timely. No form or particular format is required.

(2) Individual. Each individual broker must state in the report required under paragraph (d)(1) of this section whether he is actively engaged in transacting business as a broker. If he is so actively engaged, he must also:

(i) State the name under which, and the address at which, his business is conducted if he is a sole proprietor;

(ii) State the name and address of his employer if he is employed by another broker, unless his employer is a partnership, association or corporation broker for which he is a qualifying member or officer for purposes of §111.11(b) or (c)(2); and

(iii) State whether or not he still meets the applicable requirements of §111.11 and §111.19 and has not engaged in any conduct that could constitute grounds for suspension or revocation under §111.53.

(3) Partnership, association or corporation. Each corporation, partnership or association broker must state in the report required under paragraph (d)(1) of this section the name under which its business as a broker is being transacted, its business address, the name and address of each licensed member of the partnership or licensed officer of the association or corporation who qualifies it for a license under §111.11(b) or (c)(2), and whether it is actively engaged in transacting business as a broker, and the report must be signed by a licensed member or officer.

(4) Failure to file timely. If a broker fails to file the report required under paragraph (d)(1) of this section by March 1 of the reporting year, the broker's license is suspended by operation of law on that date. By March 31 of the reporting year, the port director will transmit written notice of the suspension to the broker by certified mail, return receipt requested, at the address reflected in Customs records. If the broker files the required report and pays the required fee within 60 calendar days of the date of the notice of suspension, the license will be reinstated. If the broker does not file the required report within that 60-day period, the broker's license is revoked by operation of law without prejudice to the filing of an application for a new license. Notice of the revocation will be published in the Customs Bulletin.

(e) Custody of records. Upon the permanent termination of a brokerage business, written notification of the name and address of the party having legal custody of the brokerage business records must be provided to the director of each port where the broker was transacting business within each district for which a permit has been issued to the broker. That notification will be the responsibility of:

(1) The individual broker, upon the permanent termination of his brokerage business;

(2) Each member of a partnership who holds an individual broker's license, upon the permanent termination of a partnership brokerage business; or

(3) Each association or corporate officer who holds an individual broker's license, upon the permanent termination of an association or corporate brokerage business.

§111.31   Conflict of interest.

(a) Former officer or employee of U.S. Government. A broker who was formerly an officer or employee in U.S. Government service must not represent a client before the Department of Homeland Security or any representative of the Department of Homeland Security in any matter to which the broker gave personal consideration or gained knowledge of the facts while in U.S. Government service, except as provided in 18 U.S.C. 207.

(b) Relations with former officer or employee of U.S. Government. A broker must not knowingly assist, accept assistance from, or share fees with a person who has been employed by a client in a matter pending before the Department of Homeland Security or any representative of the Department of Homeland Security to which matter that person gave personal consideration or gained personal knowledge of the facts or issues of the matter while in U.S. Government service.

(c) Importations by broker or employee. A broker who is an importer himself must not act as broker for an importer who imports merchandise of the same general character as that imported by the broker unless the client has full knowledge of the facts. The same restriction will apply if a broker's employee is an importer.

§111.32   False information.

A broker must not file or procure or assist in the filing of any claim, or of any document, affidavit, or other papers, known by such broker to be false. In addition, a broker must not knowingly give, or solicit or procure the giving of, any false or misleading information or testimony in any matter pending before the Department of Homeland Security or any representative of the Department of Homeland Security.

§111.33   Government records.

A broker must not procure or attempt to procure, directly or indirectly, information from Government records or other Government sources of any kind to which access is not granted by proper authority.

§111.34   Undue influence upon Department of Homeland Security employees.

A broker must not influence or attempt to influence the conduct of any representative of the Department of Homeland Security in any matter pending before the Department of Homeland Security or any representative of the Department of Homeland Security by the use of duress or a threat or false accusation, or by the offer of any special inducement or promise of advantage, or by bestowing any gift or favor or other thing of value.

§111.35   Acceptance of fees from attorneys.

With respect to customs transactions, a broker must not demand or accept from any attorney (whether directly or indirectly, including, for example, from a client as a part of any arrangement with an attorney) on account of any case litigated in any court of law or on account of any other legal service rendered by an attorney any fee or remuneration in excess of an amount measured by or commensurate with the time, effort and skill expended by the broker in performing his services.

§111.36   Relations with unlicensed persons.

(a) Employment by unlicensed person other than importer. When a broker is employed for the transaction of customs business by an unlicensed person who is not the actual importer, the broker must transmit to the actual importer either a copy of his bill for services rendered or a copy of the entry, unless the merchandise was purchased on a delivered duty-paid basis or unless the importer has in writing waived transmittal of the copy of the entry or bill for services rendered.

(b) Service to others not to benefit unlicensed person. Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (c) of this section, a broker must not enter into any agreement with an unlicensed person to transact customs business for others in such manner that the fees or other benefits resulting from the services rendered for others inure to the benefit of the unlicensed person.

(c) Relations with a freight forwarder. A broker may compensate a freight forwarder for referring brokerage business, subject to the following conditions:

(1) The importer or other party in interest is notified in advance by the forwarder or broker of the name of the broker selected by the forwarder for the handling of his Customs transactions;

(2) The broker transmits directly to the importer or other party in interest:

(i) A true copy of his brokerage charges if the fees and charges are to be collected by or through the forwarder, unless this requirement is waived in writing by the importer or other party in interest; or

(ii) A statement of his brokerage charges and an itemized list of any charges to be collected for the account of the freight forwarder if the fees and charges are to be collected by or through the broker;

(3) No part of the agreement of compensation between the broker and the forwarder, nor any action taken pursuant to the agreement, forbids or prevents direct communication between the importer or other party in interest and the broker; and

(4) In making the agreement and in all actions taken pursuant to the agreement, the broker remains subject to all other provisions of this part.

§111.37   Misuse of license or permit.

A broker must not allow his license, permit or name to be used by or for any unlicensed person (including a broker whose license or permit is under suspension), other than his own employees authorized to act for him, in the solicitation, promotion or performance of any customs business or transaction.

§111.38   False representation to procure employment.

A broker must not knowingly use false or misleading representations to procure employment in any customs matter. In addition, a broker must not represent to a client or prospective client that he can obtain any favors from the Department of Homeland Security or any representative of the Department of Homeland Security.

§111.39   Advice to client.

(a) Withheld or false information. A broker must not withhold information relative to any customs business from a client who is entitled to the information. Moreover, a broker must exercise due diligence to ascertain the correctness of any information which he imparts to a client, and he must not knowingly impart to a client false information relative to any customs business.

(b) Error or omission by client. If a broker knows that a client has not complied with the law or has made an error in, or omission from, any document, affidavit, or other paper which the law requires the client to execute, he must advise the client promptly of that noncompliance, error, or omission.

(c) Illegal plans. A broker must not knowingly suggest to a client or prospective client any illegal plan for evading payment of any duty, tax, or other debt or obligation owing to the U.S. Government.

§111.40   Protests.

A broker must not act on behalf of any person, or attempt to represent any person, regarding any protest unless he is authorized to do so in accordance with part 174 of this chapter.

§111.41   Endorsement of checks.

A broker must not endorse or accept, without authority of his client, any U.S. Government draft, check, or warrant drawn to the order of the client.

§111.42   Relations with person who is notoriously disreputable or whose license is under suspension, canceled “with prejudice,” or revoked.

(a) General. Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b) of this section, a broker must not knowingly and directly or indirectly:

(1) Accept employment to effect a Customs transaction as associate, correspondent, officer, employee, agent, or subagent from any person who is notoriously disreputable or whose broker license was revoked for any cause or is under suspension or was cancelled “with prejudice;”

(2) Assist in the furtherance of any customs business or transactions of any person described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section;

(3) Employ, or accept assistance in the furtherance of any customs business or transactions from, any person described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, without the approval of the Assistant Commissioner (see §111.79);

(4) Share fees with any person described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section; or

(5) Permit any person described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section to participate, directly or indirectly and whether through ownership or otherwise, in the promotion, control, or direction of the business of the broker.

(b) Client exception. Nothing in this section will prohibit a broker from transacting customs business on behalf of a bona fide importer or exporter who may be notoriously disreputable or whose broker license is under suspension or was cancelled “with prejudice” or revoked.

§§111.43-111.44   [Reserved]

§111.45   Revocation by operation of law.

(a) License. If a broker that is a partnership, association, or corporation fails to have, during any continuous period of 120 days, at least one member of the partnership or at least one officer of the association or corporation who holds a valid individual broker's license, that failure will, in addition to any other sanction that may be imposed under this part, result in the revocation by operation of law of the license and any permits issued to the partnership, association, or corporation. The Assistant Commissioner or his designee will notify the broker in writing of an impending revocation by operation of law under this section 30 calendar days before the revocation is due to occur.

(b) Permit. If a broker who has been granted a permit for an additional district fails, for any continuous period of 180 days, to employ within that district (or region, as defined in §111.1, if an exception has been granted pursuant to §111.19(d)) at least one person who holds a valid individual broker's license, that failure will, in addition to any other sanction that may be imposed under this part, result in the revocation of the permit by operation of law.

(c) Notification. If the license or an additional permit of a partnership, association, or corporation is revoked by operation of law under paragraph (a) or (b) of this section, the Assistant Commissioner or his designee will notify the organization of the revocation. If an additional permit of an individual broker is revoked by operation of law under paragraph (b) of this section, the Assistant Commissioner or his designee will notify the broker. Notice of any revocation under this section will be published in the Customs Bulletin.

(d) Applicability of other sanctions. Notwithstanding the operation of paragraph (a) or (b) of this section, each broker still has a continuing obligation to exercise responsible supervision and control over the conduct of its brokerage business and to otherwise comply with the provisions of this part. Any failure on the part of a broker to meet that continuing obligation during the 120 or 180-day period referred to in paragraph (a) or (b) of this section, or during any shorter period of time, may result in the initiation of suspension or revocation proceedings or the assessment of a monetary penalty under subpart D or subpart E of this part.

Subpart D—Cancellation, Suspension, or Revocation of License or Permit, and Monetary Penalty in Lieu of Suspension or Revocation

§111.50   General.

This subpart sets forth provisions relating to cancellation, suspension, or revocation of a license or a permit, or assessment of a monetary penalty in lieu of suspension or revocation, under section 641(d)(2)(B), Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1641(d)(2)(B)). The provisions relating to assessment of a monetary penalty under sections 641(b)(6) and (d)(2)(A), Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1641(b)(6) and (d)(2)(A)), are set forth in subpart E of this part.

§111.51   Cancellation of license or permit.

(a) Without prejudice. The Assistant Commissioner may cancel a broker's license or permit “without prejudice” upon written application by the broker if the Assistant Commissioner determines that the application for cancellation was not made in order to avoid proceedings for the suspension or revocation of the license or permit. If the Assistant Commissioner determines that the application for cancellation was made in order to avoid those proceedings, he may cancel the license or permit “without prejudice” only with authorization from the Secretary of Homeland Security, or his designee.

(b) With prejudice. The Assistant Commissioner may cancel a broker's license or permit “with prejudice” when specifically requested to do so by the broker. The effect of a cancellation “with prejudice” is in all respects the same as if the license or permit had been revoked for cause by the Secretary except that it will not give rise to a right of appeal.

§111.52   Voluntary suspension of license or permit.

The Assistant Commissioner may accept a broker's written voluntary offer of suspension of the broker's license or permit for a specific period of time under any terms and conditions to which the parties may agree.

§111.53   Grounds for suspension or revocation of license or permit.

The appropriate Customs officer may initiate proceedings for the suspension, for a specific period of time, or revocation of the license or permit of any broker for any of the following reasons:

(a) The broker has made or caused to be made in any application for any license or permit under this part, or report filed with Customs, any statement which was, at the time and in light of the circumstances under which it was made, false or misleading with respect to any material fact, or has omitted to state in any application or report any material fact which was required;

(b) The broker has been convicted, at any time after the filing of an application for a license under §111.12, of any felony or misdemeanor which:

(1) Involved the importation or exportation of merchandise;

(2) Arose out of the conduct of customs business; or

(3) Involved larceny, theft, robbery, extortion, forgery, counterfeiting, fraudulent concealment, embezzlement, fraudulent conversion, or misappropriation of funds;

(c) The broker has violated any provision of any law enforced by Customs or the rules or regulations issued under any provision of any law enforced by Customs;

(d) The broker has counseled, commanded, induced, procured, or knowingly aided or abetted the violations by any other person of any provision of any law enforced by Customs or the rules or regulations issued under any provision of any law enforced by Customs;

(e) The broker has knowingly employed, or continues to employ, any person who has been convicted of a felony, without written approval of that employment from the Assistant Commissioner;

(f) The broker has, in the course of customs business, with intent to defraud, in any manner willfully and knowingly deceived, misled or threatened any client or prospective client; or

(g) The broker no longer meets the applicable requirements of §§111.11 and 111.19.

§111.54   [Reserved]

§111.55   Investigation of complaints.

Every complaint or charge against a broker which may be the basis for disciplinary action will be forwarded for investigation to the special agent in charge of the area in which the broker is located. The special agent in charge will submit a report on the investigation to the director of the port and send a copy of it to the Assistant Commissioner.

§111.56   Review of report on investigation.

The port director will review the report of investigation to determine if there is sufficient basis to recommend that charges be preferred against the broker. He will then submit his recommendation with supporting reasons to the Assistant Commissioner for final determination together with a proposed statement of charges when recommending that charges be preferred.

§111.57   Determination by Assistant Commissioner.

The Assistant Commissioner will make a determination on whether or not charges should be preferred, and he will notify the port director of his decision.

§111.58   Content of statement of charges.

Any statement of charges referred to in this subpart must give a plain and concise, but not necessarily detailed, description of the facts claimed to constitute grounds for suspension or revocation of the license or permit. The statement of charges also must specify the sanction being proposed (that is, suspension of the license or permit or revocation of the license or permit), but if a suspension is proposed the charges need not state a specific period of time for which suspension is proposed. A statement of charges which fairly informs the broker of the charges against him so that he is able to prepare his response will be deemed sufficient. Different means by which a purpose might have been accomplished, or different intents with which acts might have been done, so as to constitute grounds for suspension or revocation of the license may be alleged in the alternative under a single count in the statement of charges.

§111.59   Preliminary proceedings.

(a) Opportunity to participate. The port director will advise the broker of his opportunity to participate in preliminary proceedings with an opportunity to avoid formal proceedings against his license or permit.

(b) Notice of preliminary proceedings. The port director will serve upon the broker, in the manner set forth in §111.63, written notice that:

(1) Transmits a copy of the proposed statement of charges;

(2) Informs the broker that formal proceedings are available to him;

(3) Informs the broker that sections 554 and 558, Title 5, United States Code, will be applicable if formal proceedings are necessary;

(4) Invites the broker to show cause why formal proceedings should not be instituted;

(5) Informs the broker that he may make submissions and demonstrations of the character contemplated by the cited statutory provisions;

(6) Invites any negotiation for settlement of the complaint or charge that the broker deems it desirable to enter into;

(7) Advises the broker of his right to be represented by counsel;

(8) Specifies the place where the broker may respond in writing; and

(9) Advises the broker that the response must be received within 30 calendar days of the date of the notice.

§111.60   Request for additional information.

If, in order to prepare his response, the broker desires additional information as to the time and place of the alleged misconduct, or the means by which it was committed, or any other more specific information concerning the alleged misconduct, he may request that information in writing. The broker's request must set forth in what respect the proposed statement of charges leaves him in doubt and must describe the particular language of the proposed statement of charges as to which additional information is needed. If in the opinion of the port director that information is reasonably necessary to enable the broker to prepare his response, he will furnish the broker with that information.

§111.61   Decision on preliminary proceedings.

The port director will prepare a summary of any oral presentations made by the broker or his attorney and forward it to the Assistant Commissioner together with a copy of each paper filed by the broker. The port director will also give to the Assistant Commissioner his recommendation on action to be taken as a result of the preliminary proceedings. If the Assistant Commissioner determines that the broker has satisfactorily responded to the proposed charges and that further proceedings are not warranted, he will so inform the port director who will notify the broker. If no response is filed by the broker or if the Assistant Commissioner determines that the broker has not satisfactorily responded to all of the proposed charges, he will advise the port director of that fact and instruct him to prepare, sign, and serve a notice of charges and the statement of charges. If one or more of the charges in the proposed statement of charges was satisfactorily answered by the broker in the preliminary proceedings, the Assistant Commissioner will instruct the port director to omit those charges from the statement of charges.

§111.62   Contents of notice of charges.

The notice of charges must inform the broker that:

(a) Sections 554 and 558, Title 5, United States Code, are applicable to the formal proceedings;

(b) The broker may be represented by counsel;

(c) The broker will have the right to cross-examine witnesses;

(d) Within 10 calendar days after service of this notice, the broker will be notified of the time and place of a hearing on the charges; and

(e) Prior to the hearing on the charges, the broker may file, in duplicate with the port director, a verified answer to the charges.

§111.63   Service of notice and statement of charges.

(a) Individual. The port director will serve the notice of charges and the statement of charges against an individual broker as follows:

(1) By delivery to the broker personally;

(2) By certified mail addressed to the broker, with demand for a return card signed solely by the addressee;

(3) By any other means which the broker may have authorized in a written communication to the port director; or

(4) If attempts to serve the broker by the methods prescribed in paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(3) of this section are unsuccessful, the port director may serve the notice and statement by leaving them with the person in charge of the broker's office.

(b) Partnership, association or corporation. The port director will serve the notice of charges and the statement of charges against a partnership, association, or corporation broker as follows:

(1) By delivery to any member of the partnership personally or to any officer of the association or corporation personally;

(2) By certified mail addressed to any member of the partnership or to any officer of the association or corporation, with demand for a return card signed solely by the addressee;

(3) By any other means which the broker may have authorized in a written communication to the port director; or

(4) If attempts to serve the broker by the methods prescribed in paragraphs (b)(1) through (b)(3) of this section are unsuccessful, the port director may serve the notice and statement by leaving them with the person in charge of the broker's office.

(c) Certified mail; evidence of service. When the service under this section is by certified mail, the receipt of the return card duly signed will be satisfactory evidence of service.

§111.64   Service of notice of hearing and other papers.

(a) Notice of hearing. After service of the notice and statement of charges, the port director will serve upon the broker and his attorney if known, by one of the methods set forth in §111.63 or by ordinary mail, a written notice of the time and place of the hearing. The hearing will be scheduled to take place within 30 calendar days after service of the notice of hearing.

(b) Other papers. Other papers relating to the hearing may be served by one of the methods set forth in §111.63 or by ordinary mail or upon the broker's attorney.

§111.65   Extension of time for hearing.

If the broker or his attorney requests in writing a delay in the hearing for good cause, the hearing officer designated pursuant to §111.67(a) may reschedule the hearing and in that case will notify the broker or his attorney in writing of the extension and the new time for the hearing.

§111.66   Failure to appear.

If the broker or his attorney fails to appear for a scheduled hearing, the hearing officer designated pursuant to §111.67(a) will proceed with the hearing as scheduled and will hear evidence submitted by the parties. The provisions of this part will apply as though the broker were present, and the Secretary of Homeland Security, or his designee, may issue an order of suspension of the license or permit for a specified period of time or revocation of the license or permit, or assessment of a monetary penalty in lieu of suspension or revocation, in accordance with §111.74 if he finds that action to be in order.

§111.67   Hearing.

(a) Hearing officer. The hearing officer must be an administrative law judge appointed pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 3105.

(b) Rights of the broker. The broker or his attorney will have the right to examine all exhibits offered at the hearing and will have the right to cross-examine witnesses and to present witnesses who will be subject to cross-examination by the Government representatives.

(c) Interrogatories. Upon the written request of either party, the hearing officer may permit deposition upon oral or written interrogatories to be taken before any officer duly authorized to administer oaths for general purposes or in customs matters. The other party to the hearing will be given a reasonable time in which to prepare cross-interrogatories and, if the deposition is oral, will be permitted to cross-examine the witness. The deposition will become part of the hearing record.

(d) Transcript of record. The port director will provide a competent reporter to make a record of the hearing. When the record of the hearing has been transcribed by the reporter, the port director will deliver a copy of the transcript of record to the hearing officer, the broker and the Government representative without charge.

(e) Government representatives. The Assistant Commissioner will designate one or more persons to represent the Government at the hearing.

§111.68   Proposed findings and conclusions.

The hearing officer will allow the parties a reasonable period of time after delivery of the transcript of record in which to submit proposed findings and conclusions and supporting reasons for the findings as contemplated by 5 U.S.C. 557(c).

§111.69   Recommended decision by hearing officer.

After review of the proposed findings and conclusions submitted by the parties pursuant to §111.68, the hearing officer will make his recommended decision in the case and certify the entire record to the Secretary of Homeland Security, or his designee. The hearing officer's recommended decision must conform to the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 557.

§111.70   Additional submissions.

Upon receipt of the record, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or his designee, will afford the parties a reasonable opportunity to make any additional submissions that are permitted under 5 U.S.C. 557(c) or otherwise required by the circumstances of the case.

§111.71   Immaterial mistakes.

The Secretary of Homeland Security, or his designee, will disregard an immaterial misnomer of a third person, an immaterial mistake in the description of any person, thing, or place, or ownership of any property, any other immaterial mistake in the statement of charges, or a failure to prove immaterial allegations in the description of the broker's conduct.

§111.72   Dismissal subject to new proceedings.

If the Secretary of Homeland Security, or his designee, finds that the evidence produced at the hearing indicates that a proper disposition of the case cannot be made on the basis of the charges preferred, he may instruct the port director to serve appropriate charges as a basis for new proceedings to be conducted in accordance with the procedures set forth in this subpart.

§111.73   [Reserved]

§111.74   Decision and notice of suspension or revocation or monetary penalty.

If the Secretary of Homeland Security, or his designee, finds that one or more of the charges in the statement of charges is not sufficiently proved, he may base a suspension, revocation, or monetary penalty action on any remaining charges if the facts alleged in the charges are established by the evidence. If the Secretary of Homeland Security, or his designee, in the exercise of his discretion and based solely on the record, issues an order suspending a broker's license or permit for a specified period of time or revoking a broker's license or permit or, except in a case described in §111.53(b)(3), assessing a monetary penalty in lieu of suspension or revocation, the Assistant Commissioner will promptly provide written notification of the order to the broker and, unless an appeal from the Secretary's order is filed by the broker (see §111.75), the Assistant Commissioner will publish a notice of the suspension or revocation, or the assessment of a monetary penalty, in the Federal Register and in the Customs Bulletin. If no appeal from the Secretary's order is filed, an order of suspension or revocation or assessment of a monetary penalty will become effective 60 calendar days after issuance of written notification of the order unless the Secretary finds that a more immediate effective date is in the national or public interest. If a monetary penalty is assessed and no appeal from the Secretary's order is filed, payment of the penalty must be tendered within 60 calendar days after the effective date of the order, and, if payment is not tendered within that 60-day period, the license or permit of the broker will immediately be suspended until payment is made.

§111.75   Appeal from the Secretary's decision.

An appeal from the order of the Secretary of Homeland Security, or his designee, suspending or revoking a license or permit, or assessing a monetary penalty, may be filed by the broker in the Court of International Trade as provided in section 641(e), Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1641(e)). The commencement of those proceedings will, unless specifically ordered by the Court, operate as a stay of the Secretary's order.

§111.76   Reopening the case.

(a) Grounds for reopening. Provided that no appeal is filed in accordance with §111.75, a person whose license or permit has been suspended or revoked, or against whom a monetary penalty has been assessed in lieu of suspension or revocation, may make written application in duplicate to the Assistant Commissioner to reopen the case and have the order of suspension or revocation or monetary penalty assessment set aside or modified on the ground that new evidence has been discovered or on the ground that important evidence is now available which could not be produced at the original hearing by the exercise of due diligence. The application must set forth the precise character of the evidence to be relied upon and must state the reasons why the applicant was unable to produce it when the original charges were heard.

(b) Procedure. The Assistant Commissioner will forward the application, together with his recommendation for action thereon, to the Secretary of Homeland Security, or his designee. The Secretary may grant or deny the application to reopen the case and may order the taking of additional testimony before the Assistant Commissioner. The Assistant Commissioner will notify the applicant of the Secretary's decision. If the Secretary grants the application and orders a hearing, the Assistant Commissioner will set a time and place for the hearing and give due written notice of the hearing to the applicant. The procedures governing the new hearing and recommended decision of the hearing officer will be the same as those governing the original proceeding. The original order of the Secretary will remain in effect pending conclusion of the new proceedings and issuance of a new order under §111.77.

§111.77   Notice of vacated or modified order.

If, pursuant to §111.76 or for any other reason, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or his designee, issues an order vacating or modifying an earlier order under §111.74 suspending or revoking a broker's license or permit, or assessing a monetary penalty, the Assistant Commissioner will notify the broker in writing and will publish a notice of the new order in the Federal Register and in the Customs Bulletin.

§111.78   Reprimands.

If a broker fails to observe and fulfill the duties and responsibilities of a broker as set forth in this part but that failure is not sufficiently serious to warrant initiation of suspension or revocation proceedings, Headquarters, or the port director with the approval of Headquarters, may serve the broker with a written reprimand. The reprimand, and the facts on which it is based, may be considered in connection with any future disciplinary proceeding that may be instituted against the broker in question.

§111.79   Employment of broker who has lost license.

Five years after the revocation or cancellation “with prejudice” of a license, the ex-broker may petition the Assistant Commissioner for authorization to assist, or accept employment with, a broker. The petition will not be approved unless the Assistant Commissioner is satisfied that the petitioner has refrained from all activities described in §111.42 and that the petitioner's conduct has been exemplary during the period of disability. The Assistant Commissioner will also give consideration to the gravity of the misconduct which gave rise to the petitioner's disability. In any case in which the misconduct led to pecuniary loss to the Government or to any person, the Assistant Commissioner will also take into account whether the petitioner has made restitution of that loss.

§111.80   [Reserved]

§111.81   Settlement and compromise.

The Assistant Commissioner, with the approval of the Secretary of Homeland Security, or his designee, may settle and compromise any disciplinary proceeding which has been instituted under this subpart according to the terms and conditions agreed to by the parties including, but not limited to, the assessment of a monetary penalty in lieu of any proposed suspension or revocation of a broker's license or permit.

Subpart E—Monetary Penalty and Payment of Fees

§111.91   Grounds for imposition of a monetary penalty; maximum penalty.

Customs may assess a monetary penalty or penalties as follows:

(a) In the case of a broker, in an amount not to exceed an aggregate of $30,000 for one or more of the reasons set forth in §§111.53 (a) through (f) other than those listed in §111.53(b)(3), and provided that no license or permit suspension or revocation proceeding has been instituted against the broker under subpart D of this part for any of the same reasons; or

(b) In the case of a person who is not a broker, in an amount not to exceed $10,000 for each transaction or violation referred to in §111.4 and in an amount not to exceed an aggregate of $30,000 for all those transactions or violations.

§111.92   Notice of monetary penalty.

(a) Pre-penalty notice. If assessment of a monetary penalty under §111.91 is contemplated, Customs will issue a written notice which advises the broker or other person of the allegations or complaints against him and explains that the broker or other person has a right to respond to the allegations or complaints in writing within 30 days of the date of mailing of the notice. The Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures Officer has discretion to provide additional time for good cause.

(b) Penalty notice. If the broker or other person files a timely response to the written notice of the allegations or complaints, the Fines, Penalties, and Forfeiture Officer will review this response and will either cancel the case, issue a notice of penalty in an amount which is lower than that provided for in the written notice of allegations or complaints or issue a notice of penalty in the same amount as that provided in the written notice of allegations or complaints. If no response is received from the broker or other person, the Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures Officer will issue a notice of penalty in the same amount as that provided in the written notice of allegations or complaints.

[T.D. 00-57, 65 FR 53575, Sept. 5, 2000]

§111.93   Petition for relief from monetary penalty.

A broker or other person who receives a notice issued under §111.92(b) may file a petition for relief from the monetary penalty in accordance with the procedures set forth in part 171 of this chapter.

[T.D. 00-17, 65 FR 13891, Mar. 15, 2000, as amended by T.D. 00-57, 65 FR 53575, Sept. 5, 2000]

§111.94   Decision on monetary penalty.

Customs will follow the procedures set forth in part 171 of this chapter in considering any petition for relief filed under §111.93. After Customs has considered the allegations or complaints set forth in the notice issued under §111.92 and any timely response made to the notice by the broker or other person, the Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures Officer will issue a written decision to the broker or other person setting forth the final determination and the findings of fact and conclusions of law on which the determination is based. If the final determination is that the broker or other person is liable for a monetary penalty, the broker or other person must pay the monetary penalty, or make arrangements for payment of the monetary penalty, within 60 calendar days of the date of the written decision. If payment or arrangements for payment are not timely made, Customs will refer the matter to the Department of Justice for institution of appropriate judicial proceedings.

§111.95   Supplemental petition for relief from monetary penalty.

A decision of the Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures Officer with regard to any petition filed in accordance with part 171 of this chapter may be the subject of a supplemental petition for relief. Any supplemental petition also must be filed in accordance with the provisions of part 171 of this chapter.

§111.96   Fees.

(a) License fee; examination fee; fingerprint fee. Each applicant for a broker's license pursuant to §111.12 must pay a fee of $200 to defray the costs to Customs in processing the application. Each individual who intends to take the written examination provided for in §111.13 must pay a $200 examination fee before taking the examination. An individual who submits an application for a license must also pay a fingerprint check and processing fee; the port director will inform the applicant of the current Federal Bureau of Investigation fee for conducting fingerprint checks and the Customs fingerprint processing fee, the total of which must be paid to Customs before further processing of the application will occur.

(b) Permit fee. A fee of $100 must be paid in connection with each permit application under §111.19 to defray the costs of processing the application, including an application for reinstatement of a permit that was revoked by operation of law or otherwise.

(c) User fee. Payment of an annual user fee of $138 is required for each permit, including a national permit under §111.19(f), granted to an individual, partnership, association, or corporate broker. The user fee is payable when an initial district permit is issued concurrently with a license under §111.19(a), or in connection with the filing of an application for a permit under §111.19 (b) or (f), and for each subsequent calendar year at the port through which the broker was granted the permit or at the port referred to in §111.19(c) in the case of a national permit. The user fee must be paid by the due date as published annually in the Federal Register, and must be remitted in accordance with the procedures set forth in §24.22(i) of this chapter. When a broker submits an application for a permit or is issued an initial district permit under §111.19, the full $138 user fee must be remitted with the application or when the initial district permit is issued, regardless of the point during the calendar year at which the application is submitted or the initial district permit is issued. If a broker fails to pay the annual user fee by the published due date, the appropriate port director will notify the broker in writing of the failure to pay and will revoke the permit to operate. The notice will constitute revocation of the permit.

(d) Status report fee. The status report required under §111.30(d) must be accompanied by a fee of $100 to defray the costs of administering the reporting requirement.

(e) Method of payment. All fees prescribed under this section must be paid by check or money order payable to the United States Customs Service.

[T.D. 00-17, 65 FR 13891, Mar. 15, 2000, as amended by CBP Dec. 03-13, 68 FR 43630, July 24, 2003; 72 FR 3734, Jan. 26, 2007]



For questions or comments regarding e-CFR editorial content, features, or design, email ecfr@nara.gov.
For questions concerning e-CFR programming and delivery issues, email webteam@gpo.gov.