As a licensed U.S. customhouse broker (CHB), we are required by 19 CFR Sec 1 and 21 to use due diligence in accurately obtaining information required to conduct “customs business”, as defined in 19 CFR 111 Sec. 1. This necessarily involves the name and address of the importer of record (IOR) and the ultimate consignee, their EIN or social security number, contact information, etc. By signing our power of attorney and naming us as your agent for customs business, you authorize us to store, retrieve, and submit to U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and other government agencies (OGA’s) information they require to effect release of your imports into the U.S. Further, 19 CFR 111.23 requires us to maintain this information for at least five years, and in some cases an additional 5 years after a specific event (eg., removal from warehouse or FTZ for consumption, liquidation of anti-dumping/countervailing duty entries, the importer ceases to be an “active” client, etc.). This information becomes proprietary to the CHB.
As a licensed CHB, we are required by 19 CFR Sec 111.24 to maintain confidentiality of all records we process for imports presented to CBP. Because of this requirement, we do not divulge ANY information we obtain from an importer, except to CBP and OGA’s, other than in the vaguest of terms unless we have your express written permission to do so. By “the vaguest of terms, we mean, for example, a “bearing manufacturer”, an “importer of wine and spirits”, etc., so that the importer cannot be identified, directly or indirectly.
In the course of exercising our responsibilities under “due diligence” as required of CHB’s by CBP, we may email, fax, or otherwise request from you additional information for clarification to properly prepare documents we submit to CBP and OGA’s on your behalf. Email information is kept as confidential as email transactions can be. In an effort to keep our customers and friends of the firm informed of current topics and issues that may affect their import programs, we issue via email a monthly newsletter, and occasionally special issues when urgency warrants. These emails have a clear and simple “unsubscribe” option if you wish to not receive them.
The vast majority of our customers are some form of legal entity such as a corporation, LLC, or DBA. We do, however, have individuals as IOR. As stated above, we are required by CBP to obtain specific information that may be considered “personal” in certain circumstances, such as name, address, social security number, contact information, etc. This IOR information is required by CBP, and it, too, is subject to 19 CFR Sec 111.23 recordkeeping requirements, and Sec 111.24 confidentiality requirements. We do NOT divulge this information other than in the vaguest of terms expressed above without your express, written consent.
If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact us.