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Customs to Electronically Track In-Bond Items

WASHINGTON (CN) - U.S. Customs and Border Protection wants to add new restrictions to its "in-bond" merchandise program which allows importers to transport goods from one port of entry to another before duty is paid on its import.

Importers, who have to post a bond on the merchandise, use the system to delay paying import duties until the merchandise is needed at its final port. Thus items that arrive in Long Beach, Calif., but are intended for distribution in Seattle, Wash., may be shipped without paying duty until they arrive in Seattle.

New rules are needed to make sure that all merchandise imported to the U.S. is accounted for before it enters the stream of commerce or is exported, the CBP says in a notice of proposed rule making.

The proposed changes would move the system to a paperless application and tracking system that would electronically capture more information about the merchandise being transported.

Other proposed changes include a 30-day limit to transport in-bond merchandise between entry ports, and a requirement for importers to report the arrival of in-bond merchandise to its final port of destination, within 24-hours.

CBP seeks comment on the proposed rule changes by April 23.

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