Summary: H.R.700 — 103rd Congress (1993-1994)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.700. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (01/27/1993)


Title I: Improvements in Customs Enforcement

Title II: National Customs Automation Program

Title III: Miscellaneous Amendments to the Tariff Act of 1930

Title IV: Miscellaneous Provisions and Consequential and

Conforming Amendments to Other Laws

Customs Modernization and Informed Compliance Act - Title I: Improvements in Customs Enforcement - Amends the Tariff Act of 1930 (the Act) to revise customs procedures with respect to: (1) electronic transmission of forged, altered, or false data to the United States Customs Service with regard to the entry of imported merchandise; (2) penalties for failure to declare imported controlled substances; (3) examination and detention of imported merchandise; (4) certain recordkeeping requirements; (5) examination of books and witnesses; (6) review of protests by the Customs Service; (7) a repeal of a provision relating to the reliquidation on account of fraud; (8) penalties relating to manifests, false drawback or refund claims, and for fraud, gross negligence, and negligence; (9) unlawful unlading or transshipment; (10) public access to Customs Service interpretive rulings and decisions; and (11) seizure of imported merchandise.

Title II: National Customs Automation Program - Directs the Secretary of the Treasury (Secretary) to establish the National Customs Automation Program which shall be an automated and electronic system for the processing of commercial imports.

(Sec. 201) Provides for electronic data transmission relating to: (1) remote location filing; (2) effective date of rates of duty on imported merchandise; (3) merchandise manifests; (4) imported merchandise invoices; (5) entry and release of imported merchandise; (6) admissibility in administrative and judicial proceedings of electronically transmitted information; (7) appraisement and liquidations of imported merchandise; (8) the payment of duties; (9) abandonment and damage to imported merchandise; (10) protests of Customs Service decisions; (11) refunds and errors; (12) bonds and other security; and (13) customhouse brokers.

(Sec. 202) Requires a refund (drawback) of duties (less one per cent of such duties) on articles produced in the United States with imported merchandise that have been destroyed under Customs Service supervision, provided such articles have not been used prior to such destruction.

(Sec. 214) Sets forth provisions with respect to customs officers' immunity in regard to the appraisement of or collection of duties on imported merchandise.

Title III: Miscellaneous Amendments to the Tariff Act of 1930 - Amends the Act to authorize the Secretary to disregard the difference, but not less than $20 (currently ten dollars), between the total estimated duties deposited with respect to imported merchandise and the total amount actually due on such merchandise. Increases specified ceiling amounts of duty-free gifts and articles.

(Sec. 302) Requires masters of vessels that have visited a hovering vessel or received merchandise while outside the U.S. territorial sea to report their arrival to the nearest customs facility.

Provides for the electronic transmission of vessel documentation to the Customs Service.

(Sec. 303) Requires specified kinds of vessels to report to the nearest Customs Service facility within 24 hours (or other period of time as provided) after arrival to a U.S. port.

(Sec. 305) Exempts from entry and clearance requirements certain passenger vessels on excursion from the U.S. Virgin Islands to the British Virgin Islands and returning, U.S. documented vessels with recreational endorsement, or (as under current law) undocumented U.S. pleasure vessels not engaged in trade, except such vessels must comply upon arrival with specified customs reporting requirements and navigation laws and must not have visited any hovering vessel.

(Sec. 306) Prohibits merchandise, passengers, or baggage from being unladen from any vessel required to make entry or vehicle required to report its arrival until such entry or report of arrival is made and a permit for unlading has been issued by the Customs Service. Authorizes the issuance of such permits through electronic data transmission.

(Sec. 309) Reduces from one year to six months the length of time merchandise may remain in customs custody with fees unpaid before it may be treated as unclaimed.

(Sec. 312) Authorizes the Secretary to prescribe regulations for the declaration and entry of merchandise whose value does not exceed a designated amount, but not more than $2,500 (currently not greater than $1,250), or when different commercial facilitation and risk considerations that may vary for different classes or kinds of merchandise or different classes of transactions may dictate.

(Sec. 313) Reduces from one year to 90 days the minimum length of time after forfeiture the Secretary must wait before selling at public auction any seized imported merchandise with a counterfeit mark.

(Sec.314) Authorizes the Customs Service to order the destruction or other appropriate disposition of vessels, vehicles, aircraft, merchandise, or baggage that has been seized under the customs laws if it determines that the expense of keeping such items is disportionate to their value (currently applies only to items of less than $1,000 in value).

(Sec. 315) Authorizes the use of funds from the Customs Forfeiture Fund for the payment of: (1) certain transfer and storage charges and expenses; and (2) claims against Customs Service employees.

(Sec. 316) Requires actions for fraud, gross negligence, and negligence, false drawback, or refund claims with respect to imported merchandise to be instituted within five years after the alleged violation or discovery of such fraud.

(Sec. 318) Authorizes the Secretary to settle, for no more than $50,000 in each case, claims for personal injury, death, or damage to, or loss of, privately owned property caused by an investigative or law enforcement officer of the Customs Service.

(Sec. 319) Provides for the use of private collection agencies to recover money owed the United States under customs laws.

Title IV: Miscellaneous Provisions and Consequential and Conforming Amendments to Other Laws - Amends the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States to exempt from such Schedule articles which are returned within 45 days after being exported from the United States as undeliverable and which have not left the custody of the carrier or foreign customs service.

(Sec. 401) Declares that certain railway locomotives and railway freight cars on which no duty is owed are not subject to the entry or release requirements for imported merchandise under the Tariff Act of 1930.

States that instruments of international trade, such as containers, lift vans, rail cars and locomotives, truck cabs and trailers, etc., are exempt from formal entry procedures, but must be accounted for when imported to and exported from the United States through the manifesting procedures required for international carriers.

(Sec. 402) Amends the Internal Revenue Code and other specified Federal law with respect to: (1) certain expenditures from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund; and (2) coastwise trade vessels and U.S. vessels visiting foreign ports.

(Sec. 403) Amends Federal law to grant the Court of International Trade exclusive jurisdiction of any civil action for review of decisions of the Customs Service that deny, suspend, or revoke accreditation of private customs laboratories. Bars the commencement of such actions unless brought within 60 days of such decisions.

(Sec. 404) Requires U.S. and foreign vessels to obtain clearance from the Customs Service before proceeding from a U.S. port for: (1) a foreign port; (2) another U.S. port (for foreign vessels only), or (for U.S. vessels only) another U.S. port if the vessel has bonded or foreign merchandise for which entry has not been made; or (3) outside the U.S. territorial sea to visit a hovering vessel or to receive merchandise.

(Sec. 408) Repeals specified provisions of Federal law.

(Sec. 409) Requires the Commissioner of Customs to report to the Congress each fiscal year after FY 1992 on the collection of duties imposed under the antidumping and countervailing duty laws.

Amends the Customs and Trade Act of 1990 to require the Commissioner of Customs to: (1) devise a methodology for estimating the level of compliance with the U.S. customs laws; and (2) evaluate the extent to which such compliance was obtained during the 12-month period preceding the 60th day before each fiscal year 1993 through 1995.