(a)Ten-day extension. In unusual circumstances, the Customs officer who is responsible for deciding an initial request or an appeal may extend the time limitations set in §§ 103.6 and 103.7 after written notice to the requester or appellant. This notice must state the reason for the extension and the date on which the determination is expected to be dispatched. Any extension or extensions of time are limited to a cumulative total of not more than 10 additional working days. (For example, if an extension pursuant to this paragraph is invoked in connection with an initial determination, any unused days of the extension period may be invoked in connection with the determination on administrative appeal by written notice from the FOIA Appeals Officer, who is to make the appellate determination. If no extension is sought for the initial determination, an extension of 10 days may be added to the ordinary 20-day period for appellant review.) Generally, extensions will be invoked only to the extent reasonably necessary to properly respond to a request. As used in this paragraph, “unusual circumstances” means at least one of the following:
(1) The need to search for and collect the requested records from field facilities or other establishments in buildings other than the building in which the office of the Customs officer to whom the request is made is located.
(2) The need to search for, collect, and appropriately examine a voluminous amount of separate and distinct records which are demanded in a single request.
(3) The need for consultation, which shall be conducted with all practicable speed, with another Department or agency having a substantial interest in the determination of the request, among two or more constituent units within the Department of the Treasury, or within offices of the United States Customs Service (other than the legal staff or Office of Congressional & Public Affairs) having substantial subject-matter interest therein. Consultations with personnel of the Department of Justice concerned with requests for records under the Freedom of Information Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. 552), do not constitute a basis for an extension under this paragraph.
(b)Extension by judicial review. If the United States Customs Service fails to comply with the time limitations specified in §§ 103.6 and 103.7 and the requester commences an action under § 103.9, the court in which the suit was initiated may retain jurisdiction and allow the United States Customs Service additional time to review its records, if the Customs Service shows the existence of exceptional circumstances and the exercise of due diligence in responding to the request.
[T.D. 81-168, 46 FR 32565, June 24, 1981; 46 FR 35084, July 7, 1981, as amended by T.D. 91-77, 56 FR 46114, Sept. 10, 1991]
Title 19 published on 2013-04-01
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