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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of May 21, 2020

Title 19Chapter IPart 103Subpart B → §103.22

Title 19: Customs Duties
Subpart B—Production or Disclosure in Federal, State, Local, and Foreign Proceedings

§103.22   Procedure in the event of a demand for CBP information in any federal, state, or local civil proceeding or administrative action.

(a) General prohibition against disclosure. In any federal, state, or local civil proceeding or administrative action in which CBP is not a party, no CBP employee shall, in response to a demand for CBP information, furnish CBP documents or testimony as to any material contained in CBP files, any information relating to or based upon material contained in CBP files, or any information or material acquired as part of the performance of that person's official duties (or because of that person's official status) without the prior written approval of the Chief Counsel, as described in paragraph (b) of this section.

(b) Employee notification to Counsel. Whenever a demand for information is made upon a CBP employee, that employee shall immediately prepare a report that specifically describes the testimony or documents sought and notify the Assistant Chief Counsel or Associate Chief Counsel for the area where the employee is located. If the employee is located at Headquarters or outside of the United States, the employee shall immediately notify the Chief Counsel. The CBP employee shall then await instructions from the Chief Counsel concerning the response to the demand.

(c) Requesting party's initial burden. A party seeking CBP information shall serve on the appropriate CBP employee the demand, a copy of the Summons and Complaint, and provide an affidavit, or, if that is not feasible, a statement that sets forth a summary of the documents or testimony sought and its relevance to the proceeding. Any disclosure authorization for documents or testimony by a CBP employee shall be limited to the scope of the demand as summarized in such affidavit or statement. The Chief Counsel may, upon request and for good cause shown, waive the requirements of this paragraph.

(d) Requesting party's notification requirement. The demand for CBP information, pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (c) of this section, shall be served at least ten (10) working days prior to the scheduled date of the production of the documents or the taking of testimony.

(e) Counsel notification to originating component. Upon receipt of a proper demand for CBP information, one which complies with the provisions of paragraph (c) of this section, if the Chief Counsel believes that it will comply with any part of the demand, it will immediately advise the originating component.

(f) Conditions for authorization of disclosure. The Chief Counsel, subject to the provisions of paragraph (h) of this section, may authorize the production of CBP documents or the appearance and testimony of a CBP employee if:

(1) Production of the demanded documents or testimony, in the judgment of the Chief Counsel, are appropriate under the factors specified in §103.23(a) of this subpart; and

(2) None of the factors specified in §103.23(b) of this subpart exist with respect to the demanded documents or testimony.

(g) Limitations on the scope of authorized disclosure. (1) The Chief Counsel shall authorize the disclosure of CBP information by a CBP employee without further authorization from CBP officials whenever possible, provided that:

(i) If necessary, Counsel has consulted with the originating component regarding disclosure of the information demanded;

(ii) There is no objection from the originating component to the disclosure of the information demanded; and

(iii) Counsel has sought to limit the demand for information to that which would be consistent with the factors specified in §103.23 of this part.

(2) In the case of an objection by the originating component, the Chief Counsel shall make the disclosure determination.

(h) Disclosure of commercial information. In the case of a demand for commercial information or commercial documents concerning importations or exportations, the Chief Counsel shall obtain the authorization of the Assistant Commissioner (Field Operations) or his/her designee prior to the Chief Counsel authorizing the production/disclosure of such documents/information.

[61 FR 19838, May 3, 1996, as amended at 78 FR 70856, Nov. 27, 2013]

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