On February 7, 2007, the acting executive director of Trade Policy and Programs Office of International Trade of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a memorandum (TBT-07-003) to the field regarding the use of reasonable care by importers and brokers to ensure accuracy of Entry Summary data. Specifically, in reviewing Entry Summaries, CBP has found “egregious errors” by importers and brokers in the reporting of quantity, country of origin, classification and manufacturer identification number. Because of these errors, the entry documents did not correctly reflect the transactions.

CBP warned that headquarters will be reviewing entries and when “egregious errors” are identified, the ports will be directed to pursue penalties against brokers, importers or both, as appropriate. However, nine days after this memo was issued, CBP issued a retraction memo because “the original memo did not provide sufficient clarity to terms such as ‘egregious’ and did not define types of errors that were significant or material . . . .” Because of this lack of clarity, the original memo created “a great deal of confusion to both the Field Offices and the importing community.” CBP, therefore, retracted the original memo and advised that “future memos concerning reasonable care will provide adequate clarity.”

Under 19 U.S.C. § 1484, the importer of record is responsible “for using reasonable care to enter, classify and value merchandise and to provide other information enabling CBP to properly assess duties, collect accurate statistics and determine whether other requirements are met.”