On August 17, 2011, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a final rule in the Federal Register, stating that effective September 30, 2011, and to be implemented soon thereafter, CBP will cease the issuance of courtesy notices of liquidation for those importers of record that file their customs entries using the Automated Brokerage Interface (ABI) system.

Under the current system, CBP issues an electronic courtesy notice to the ABI filer, usually the customs broker or agent of the importer of record, and a paper copy to the importer of record.

Although these notices are not the official notice of liquidation and are not mandated by statute, they nonetheless serve as a significant compliance tool in tracking the status of customs entries. By statute, importers of record have 180 days from the date of liquidation to object to decisions of CBP by generally filing administrative protests pursuant to 19 U.S.C. § 1514 and the related customs regulations.

Importers of record and those affected by the change in CBP regulations (19 C.F.R. § 159.9) may wish to review this change with their customs brokers and other cognizant advisors.

The contact person at CBP is Laurie Dempsey, Trade Policy and Programs, Office of International Trade, who can be reached at 202.863.6509.