On August 14, 2019, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking [USCBP-2019-0024] to amend the CBP regulations to require customs brokers to collect certain information from importers to enable the customs brokers to verify the identity of importers, including nonresident importers. CBP proposes these amendments, pursuant to section 116 of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (TFTEA), which directs CBP to promulgate regulations to require brokers to verify the identity of the importers who are their clients.

CBP proposes to amend the CBP regulations to add a new section, 111.43, entitled Importer identity verification, to create and standardize the process by which customs brokers verify the identity of their clients, specifically importers and nonresident importers. These proposed regulations set forth the minimum requirements a customs broker must meet to verify the importer’s identity prior to transacting customs business on behalf of the importer or nonresident importer client. Most customs brokers already meet or exceed these minimum requirements. Customs brokers may continue to exceed the requirements in proposed section 111.43, regarding the collection of information and documents, or conducting research about a client.

Comments must be received on or before October 15, 2019.