On September 28, 2017, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published in the Federal Register a final rule [USCBP–2012–0002: CBP Dec. 17–13] that adopts, with several changes, proposed amendments to CBP regulations regarding changes to the in-bond process published in the Federal Register on February 22, 2012. The in-bond process allows imported merchandise to be entered at one U.S. port of entry without appraisement or payment of duties and transported by a bonded carrier to another U.S. port of entry or other authorized destination provided all statutory and regulatory conditions are met. At the destination port, the merchandise is entered or exported. The changes in this rule, including the automation of the in-bond process, will enhance CBP’s ability to regulate and track in-bond merchandise and ensure that in-bond merchandise is properly entered or exported. The final rule document addresses comments received in response to the proposed rule and makes several changes in response to the comments that further simplify and facilitate the in-bond process. Amendments are made to 19 C.F.R. Parts 4, 10, 18, 19, 113, 122, 123, 141, 142, 143, 144, 146, 151, and 181. The rule is effective on November 27, 2017.

In order to provide the trade with sufficient time to adjust to the new requirements and in consideration of the business process changes that may be necessary to achieve full compliance, CBP in implementing and enforcing the rule, will take into account challenges that carriers may face in complying with the rule, so long as carriers are making satisfactory progress toward compliance and are making a good faith effort to comply with the rule to the extent of their ability. This flexible enforcement will last for 90 days after the effective date of this rule. Additionally, CBP will provide guidance on the new requirements and endeavor to conduct outreach to interested parties in order to facilitate a smooth transition to the new requirements.