On November 1, 2017, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published in the Federal Register a final rule [USCBP-2017-0025; CBP Dec. 17- 16] that adopts with changes, the amendments proposed to the CBP regulations to reflect that customs user fees and limitations established by the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) will be adjusted for inflation in accordance with the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act).
In addition, CBP proposed technical updates to paragraph (g) of 19 C.F.R. 24.22 to reflect the elimination of the user fee exemption for passengers arriving from Canada, Mexico or one of the adjacent islands pursuant to the United States – Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act. (Colombia TPA, Pub. L. 112-42, October 21, 2011). Section 601 of the Colombia TPA amended 19 U.S.C. 58c(b)(1)(A)(i) to limit the fee exemption exclusively to passengers whose journey originated in a territory or possession of the United States, or originated in the United States and was limited to the territories and possessions of the United States. (19 U.S.C. 58c(b)(1)(A)(i)). Since the law became effective on November 5, 2011, CBP has been collecting only the non-exempt user fees. In accordance with the statute, CBP is removing the exemption for passengers arriving from Canada, Mexico, or one of the adjacent islands, from several subsections and a chart in the regulations. CBP is also removing the definition of “adjacent islands” from paragraph (g)(1)(iii) as references to adjacent islands have been removed from paragraph (g). (19 C.F.R. 24.22(g)).
Additionally, CBP is amending paragraph (g)(2)(iii) to clarify that journeys between ports in the United States are not subject to the fee. (19 CFR 24.22(g)(2)(iii)). Upon further review, CBP determined that certain technical corrections that were proposed needed further clarification.