In October 2014, officials from the Intellectual Property Rights (“IPR”) Branch of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) made a presentation to the Executive Committee of the International Trade Commission Trial Lawyers Association on a forthcoming Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) with respect to CBP’s administration of ITC exclusion orders.  The NPRM is in draft form, is not public, and has not yet been finally approved by CBP.  Nevertheless, the CBP officials’ description of the draft NPRM indicates that CBP is moving towards an inter partes procedure under Part 177 of CBP’s regulations that would allow interested parties to seek rulings on interpretations of ITC exclusion orders, including redesigns or modifications to otherwise covered articles.  Such procedures currently take place on an ex parte basis between Customs and one of the parties to an ITC section 337 investigation.  As currently drafted, the proposed ruling request procedure would have built-in timelines; allow for briefs and oral argument before an IPR Branch official; provide for further review by the ITC; and require the publication of final ruling letters.  Issues still to be worked out include the handling of confidential business information, the role of the courts in the review process, and the timing of publication of the NPRM.