On September 20, 2010, the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General issued a report evaluating the CBP Importer v4Self-Assessment (ISA) program. The report concluded that CBP has not established sufficient management controls for the program. Shortcomings identified in the report included failure to clearly define a purpose for the program, establish performance measures, issue operating procedures, verify the effectiveness of an applicant’s internal controls prior to acceptance of the applicant into the program and exercise effective oversight of compliance with the program’s requirements. The report also proposed recommendations for improving the program, which CBP has already taken steps to implement. Among the recommendations included in the report were that CBP assess and mitigate risks to trade compliance associated with accepting importers into the ISA program under existing policies and procedures, and that CBP establish procedures for reviewing ISA importers’ annual self-testing results to ensure they comply with program requirements.

For additional information on the ISA program and its benefits, see the February 2010 issue of this newsletter.