(a)Officers designated to make initial determinations—
(1)Service ports. The appropriate director of a service port, or in the case of records of the Office of Investigations, the appropriate special agent in charge (SAC), shall make any initial determination of a request for a record which is maintained, respectively, at that service port or under the SAC's jurisdiction.
(2)Headquarters. For records located at Customs Service Headquarters, the initial determination to grant or deny a request shall be made by the appropriate Division Director at Customs Service Headquarters having custody of or functional jurisdiction over the subject matter of the requested records. In the event the request relates to records which are maintained in an office which is not within a division, the initial determination shall be made by the individual designated for that purpose by the Assistant Commissioner having responsibility for that office.
(b)Time limit for initial determinations. The time limit for making an initial determination to grant or deny a request for records, including the time for notifying the requester of that determination, is 10 days (excepting Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays) after the date of receipt of the request (see § 103.5(f)), unless the designated officer invokes an extension pursuant to § 103.8(a) or the requester otherwise agrees to an extension.
(c)Grant of request. If the appropriate Customs officer grants a request, and if the requester wants a copy of the requested records, that officer shall mail a copy of those records to the requester together with a statement of the fees for search and duplication at the time of the determination or promptly thereafter. If a requester wants to inspect the record, the appropriate Customs officer who grants the request shall send written notice to the requester stating the time and place of inspection and the amount of any fee involved in the request. In such a case, the appropriate Customs officer shall make the record available for inspection at the time and place stated, but in a manner so as not to interfere with its use by the United States Customs Service or to exclude other persons from making an inspection. In addition, reasonable limitations may be placed on the number of records which may be inspected by a person on any given date. The requester is not allowed to remove a record from the inspection room. If, after making inspection, the requester wants a copy of all or a portion of the requested record, the appropriate Customs officer shall supply the desired copy upon payment of the established fee prescribed in § 103.10.
(d)Denial of request. The Customs officer who denies a request for records (whether in whole or in part) shall mail written notice of the denial to the requester. The letter of notificatimn shall contain (1) the physical location of the requested records, (2) the applicable exemption(s) and reason for not granting the request, (3) the name and title or position of the Customs officer who denied the request, (4) advice on the right to administrative appeal in accordance with § 103.7, and (5) the title and address of the Customs officer who is to decide any appeal.
(e)Inability to locate records within time limits. If a requested record cannot be located and evaluated within the initial 10-day period or the extension period allowed under § 103.8(a), the Customs officer who is responsible for the initial determination shall continue to search for the records. However, that officer shall also notify the requester of the facts and inform the requester that he or she may consider the notification to be a denial of access within the meaning of paragraph (d) of this section, and provide the requester with the address for the submission of an administrative appeal. The requester may also be invited, in the alternative, to agree to a voluntary extension of time in which to locate and evaluate the records. A voluntary extension of time does not waive a requester's right to appeal any ultimate denial of access or to appeal a failure to locate the records within the voluntary extension period.
[T.D. 81-168, 46 FR 32565, June 24, 1981, as amended by T.D. 96-36, 61 FR 19838, May 3, 1996]
Title 19 published on 2013-04-01
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