Recent Action Regarding Custom Enforcement

SEnator Menendez

Click above to watch Senator Menendez Speak About Customs Enforcement at Finance Meeting

Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), in conjunction with Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) was able to include in the final report language in the recent customs reauthorization legislation that the United States Senate Finance Committee marked up. The Committee will need a couple of weeks to publish the final report. This is a first, but significant step forward because the report directs Department of Homeland Security to focus on the mislabeling of imports as gifts. Now the entire Senate Finance Committee in a bipartisan manner, is on record regarding this important issue. This action should help motivate Customs and Border Patrol to potentially increase enforcement. This is a positive development, but still the beginning of our long journey.

Below is a colloquy between Senator Menendez and Chairman Hatch. The Chairman and his staff share our opinion and this issue and was glad to work with our organization on moving it forward.

Language Added:
Section 305(a)(8): In developing and implementing the risk-based alert system to improve the targeting of persons that repeatedly infringe intellectual property rights, the Secretary of Homeland Security should FOCUS ON the propensity to commit violations of other U.S. customs and trade laws, including the evasion of duties, taxes, and fees, ESPECIALLY BY THE MISCATEGORIZATION OF COMMERCIAL MERCHANDISE LABELED AS GIFTS.

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