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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of January 23, 2020

Title 19Chapter I → Part 172


Title 19: Customs Duties


PART 172—CLAIMS FOR LIQUIDATED DAMAGES; PENALTIES SECURED BY BONDS


Contents
§172.0   Scope.

Subpart A—Notice of Claim and Application for Relief

§172.1   Notice of liquidated damages or penalty incurred and right to petition for relief.
§172.2   Petition for relief.
§172.3   Filing a petition.
§172.4   Demand on surety.

Subpart B—Action on Petitions

§172.11   Petitions acted on by Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures Officer.
§172.12   Petitions acted on at Customs Headquarters.
§172.13   Limitations on consideration of petitions.
§172.14   Headquarters advice.

Subpart C—Disposition of Petitions

§172.21   Decisions effective for limited time.
§172.22   Decisions not protestable.

Subpart D—Offers in Compromise

§172.31   Form of offers.
§172.32   Authority to accept offers.
§172.33   Acceptance of offers in compromise.

Subpart E—Supplemental Petitions for Relief

§172.41   Time and place of filing.
§172.42   Supplemental petition decision authority.
§172.43   Waiver of statute of limitations.

Authority: 19 U.S.C. 66, 1618, 1623, 1624.

Source: T.D. 00-57, 65 FR 53578, Sept. 5, 2000, unless otherwise noted.

§172.0   Scope.

This part contains provisions relating to petitions for relief from claims for liquidated damages arising under any Customs bond and penalties incurred which are secured by the conditions of the International Carrier Bond (see §113.64 of this Chapter). This part does not relate to petitions on unsecured fines or penalties or seizures and forfeitures, nor does it relate to petitions for the restoration of proceeds of sale pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1613.

Subpart A—Notice of Claim and Application for Relief

§172.1   Notice of liquidated damages or penalty incurred and right to petition for relief.

(a) Notice of liquidated damages or penalty incurred. When there is a failure to meet the conditions of any bond posted with Customs or when a violation occurs which results in assessment of a penalty which is secured by a Customs bond, the principal will be notified in writing of any liability for liquidated damages or penalty incurred and a demand will be made for payment. The sureties on such bond will also be notified in writing of any such liability at the same time.

(b) Notice of right to petition for relief. The notice will inform the principal that application may be made for relief from payment of liquidated damages or penalty.

§172.2   Petition for relief.

(a) To whom addressed. Petitions for the cancellation of any claim for liquidated damages or remission or mitigation of a fine or penalty secured by a Customs bond incurred under any law or regulation administered by Customs must be addressed to the Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures Officer designated in the notice of claim.

(b) Signature. The petition for remission or mitigation must be signed by the petitioner, his attorney-at-law or a Customs broker. If the petitioner is a corporation, the petition may be signed by an officer or responsible supervisory official of the corporation, or responsible employee representative of the corporation. Electronic signatures are acceptable. The deciding Customs officer may, in his or her discretion and with articulable cause, require proof of representation before consideration of any petition.

(c) Form. The petition for cancellation, remission or mitigation need not be in any particular form. Customs can require that the petition and any documents submitted in support of the petition be in English or be accompanied by an English translation. The petition must set forth the following:

(1) The date and place of the violation; and

(2) The facts and circumstances relied upon by the petitioner to justify cancellation, remission or mitigation.

(d) False statement in petition. A false statement contained in a petition may subject the petitioner to prosecution under the provisions of 18 U.S.C. 1001.

§172.3   Filing a petition.

(a) Where filed. A petition for relief must be filed by the bond principal with the Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures office whose address is given in the notice.

(b) When filed. Petitions for relief must be filed within 60 days from the date of mailing to the bond principal the notice of claim for liquidated damages or penalty secured by a bond.

(c) Extensions. The Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures Officer is empowered to grant extensions of time to file petitions when the circumstances so warrant.

(d) Number of copies. The petition must be filed in duplicate unless filed electronically.

(e) Exception for certain cases. If a penalty or claim for liquidated damages is assessed and fewer than 180 days remain from the date of penalty or liquidated damages notice before the statute of limitations may be asserted as a defense, the Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures Officer may specify in the notice a reasonable period of time, but not less than 7 working days, for the filing of a petition for relief. If a petition is not filed within the time specified, the matter will be transmitted promptly to the appropriate Office of the Chief Counsel for referral to the Department of Justice.

§172.4   Demand on surety.

If the principal fails to file a petition for relief or fails to comply in the prescribed time with a decision to mitigate a penalty or cancel a claim for liquidated damages issued with regard to a petition for relief, Customs will make a demand for payment on surety. The surety will then have 60 days from the date of the demand to file a petition for relief.

Subpart B—Action on Petitions

§172.11   Petitions acted on by Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures Officer.

(a) Mitigation or cancellation authority. Upon receipt of a petition for relief submitted pursuant to the provisions of section 618 or 623 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1618 or 19 U.S.C. 1623), the Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures Officer, notwithstanding any other law or regulation, is empowered to mitigate any penalty or cancel any claim for liquidated damages on such terms and conditions as, under law and in view of the circumstances, he or she will deem appropriate in accordance with appropriate delegations of authority.

(b) When violation did not occur. Notwithstanding any other delegation of authority, the Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures Officer is always empowered to cancel any case without payment of a mitigated or cancellation amount when he or she definitely determines that the act or omission forming the basis of any claim of penalty or claim for liquidated damages did not occur.

[T.D. 00-57, 65 FR 53578, Sept. 5, 2000, as amended by CBP Dec. 12-07, 77 FR 19534, Apr. 2, 2012]

§172.12   Petitions acted on at Customs Headquarters.

Upon receipt of a petition for relief filed pursuant to the provisions of section 618 or 623 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1618 or 19 U.S.C. 1623), involving fines, penalties, and claims for liquidated damages which are outside of his or her delegated authority the Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures Officer will refer that petition to the Chief, Penalties Branch, Office of International Trade Regulations and Rulings, CBP Headquarters, who is empowered, notwithstanding any other law or regulation, to mitigate penalties or cancel bond claims on such terms and conditions as, under law and in view of the circumstances, he or she deems appropriate.

[T.D. 00-57, 65 FR 53578, Sept. 5, 2000, as amended by CBP Dec. 12-07, 77 FR 19534, Apr. 2, 2012]

§172.13   Limitations on consideration of petitions.

(a) Cases referred for institution of legal proceedings. No action will be taken on any petition if the civil liability has been referred to the Department of Justice for institution of legal proceedings. The petition will be forwarded to the Department of Justice.

(b) Delinquent sureties. No action will be taken on any petition from a principal or surety if received after the issuance to surety of a notice to show cause pursuant to the provisions of §113.38(c)(3) of this chapter.

§172.14   Headquarters advice.

The advice of the Director, Border Security and Trade Compliance Division, Regulations and Rulings, Office of International Trade, CBP Headquarters, may be sought in any case (except as provided in this section), without regard to delegated authority to act on a petition or offer, when a novel or complex issue concerning a ruling, policy, or procedure is presented concerning a CBP action(s) or potential CBP action(s) relating to penalties secured by bonds (including penalty-based determinations of duty except as provided in this section), claims for liquidated damages or mitigating any claim. This section does not apply to actual duty loss tenders determined by CBP pursuant to §162.74(c) of this chapter relating to prior disclosure. The request for advice may be initiated by the bond principal, surety or any CBP officer, but must be submitted to the Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures Officer. The Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures Officer retains the authority to refuse to forward any request that fails to raise a qualifying issue and to seek legal advice from the appropriate Associate or Assistant Chief Counsel in any case.

Subpart C—Disposition of Petitions

§172.21   Decisions effective for limited time.

A decision to mitigate a penalty or to cancel a claim for liquidated damages upon condition that a stated amount is paid will be effective for not more than 60 days from the date of notice to the petitioner of such decision unless the decision itself prescribes a different effective period. If payment of the stated amount is not made or a petition or a supplemental petition is not filed in accordance with regulation, the full penalty or claim for liquidated damages will be deemed applicable and will be enforced by promptly transmitting the matter, after required collection action, if appropriate, to the appropriate office of the Chief Counsel for preparation for referral to the Department of Justice unless other action has been directed by the Commissioner of Customs. Any such case may also be the basis for a sanction action commenced in accordance with regulations in this chapter.

§172.22   Decisions not protestable.

(a) Mitigation decision not subject to protest. Any decision to remit or mitigate a penalty or cancel a claim for liquidated damages upon payment of a lesser amount is not a protestable decision as defined under the provisions of 19 U.S.C. 1514. Any payment made in compliance with any decision to remit or mitigate a penalty or cancel a claim for liquidated damages upon payment of a lesser amount is not a charge or exaction and therefore is not a protestable action as defined under the provisions of 19 U.S.C. 1514.

(b) Payment of mitigated or cancellation amount as accord and satisfaction. Payment of a mitigated or cancellation amount in compliance with an administrative decision on a petition or supplemental petition for relief will be considered an election of administrative proceedings and full disposition of the case. Payment of a mitigated or cancellation amount will act as an accord and satisfaction of the Government claim. Payment of a mitigated or cancellation amount will never serve as a bar to filing a supplemental petition for relief.

Subpart D—Offers in Compromise

§172.31   Form of offers.

Offers in compromise submitted pursuant to the provisions of section 617 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1617), must expressly state that they are being submitted in accordance with the provisions of that section. The amount of the offer must be deposited with Customs in accordance with the provisions of §161.5 of this chapter.

§172.32   Authority to accept offers.

The authority to accept offers in compromise, subject to the recommendation of the General Counsel of the Treasury or his delegee, resides with the official having authority to decide a petition for relief, except that authority to accept offers in compromise submitted with regard to penalties secured by a bond or claims for liquidated damages which are the subject of a letter to show cause issued to a surety in anticipation of possible action involving nonacceptance of bonds authorized under the provisions of part 113 of this chapter will reside with the designated Headquarters official who issued the show cause letter.

§172.33   Acceptance of offers in compromise.

An offer in compromise will be considered accepted only when the offeror is so notified in writing. As a condition to accepting an offer in compromise, the offeror may be required to enter into any collateral agreement or to post any security which is deemed necessary for the protection of the interest of the United States.

Subpart E—Supplemental Petitions for Relief

§172.41   Time and place of filing.

If the petitioner is not satisfied with a decision of the deciding official on an original petition for relief, a supplemental petition may be filed with the Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures Officer having jurisdiction in the port where the violation occurred. The petitioner must file such a supplemental petition within 60 days from the date of notice to the petitioner of the decision from which further relief is requested or within 60 days following an administrative or judicial decision with respect to issues serving as the basis for the claim for liquidated damages (whichever is later) unless another time to file such a supplemental petition is prescribed in the decision. A supplemental petition may be filed whether or not the mitigated amount designated in the decision on the original petition is paid.

§172.42   Supplemental petition decision authority.

(a) Decisions of Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures Officers. Supplemental petitions filed on cases where the original decision was made by the Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures Officer, will be initially reviewed by that official. The Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures Officer may choose to grant more relief and issue a decision indicating additional relief to the petitioner. If the petitioner is dissatisfied with the further relief granted or if the Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures Officer decides to grant no further relief, the supplemental petition will be forwarded to a designated Headquarters official assigned to a field location for review and decision.

(b) Decisions of CBP Headquarters. Supplemental petitions filed on cases where the original decision was made by the Chief, Penalties Branch, Regulations and Rulings, Office of International Trade, CBP Headquarters, will be forwarded to the Director, Border Security and Trade Compliance Division, Regulations and Rulings, for review and decision.

(c) Authority of Executive Director. Any authority given to any Headquarters official by this part may also be exercised by the Executive Director, Regulations and Rulings, Office of International Trade, or his designee.

§172.43   Waiver of statute of limitations.

The deciding Customs official always reserves the right to require a waiver of the statute of limitations executed by the charged party or parties as a condition precedent before accepting a supplemental petition in any case in which less than one year remains before the statute will be available as a defense to all or part of that case.

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