19 CFR § 122.187 - Revocation or suspension of access.

§ 122.187 Revocation or suspension of access.

(a) Grounds for revocation or suspension of access -

(1) General. The port director:

(i) Must immediately revoke or suspend an employee's access to the Customs security area and demand the immediate surrender of the employee's approved Customs access seal for any ground specified in paragraph (a)(2) of this section; or

(ii) May propose the revocation or suspension of an employee's access to the Customs security area and the surrender of the employee's approved Customs access seal whenever, in the judgment of the port director, it appears for any ground not specified in paragraph (a)(2) of this section that continued access might pose an unacceptable risk to public health, interest or safety, national security, aviation safety, the revenue, or the security of the area. In this case the port director will provide the employee with an opportunity to respond to the notice of proposed action.

(2) Specific grounds. Access to the Customs security area will be revoked or suspended, and surrender of an approved Customs access seal will be demanded, in any of the following circumstances:

(i) There is probable cause to believe that an approved Customs access seal was obtained through fraud, a material omission, or the misstatement of a material fact;

(ii) The employee is or has been convicted of, or found not guilty of by reason of insanity, or there is probable cause to believe that the employee has committed any act or omission involving, an offense listed in § 122.183(a)(4);

(iii) The employee has been arrested for, or charged with, an offense listed in § 122.183(a)(4) and prosecution or other disposition of the arrest or charge is pending;

(iv) The employee has engaged in any other conduct that would constitute a ground for denial of access to the Customs security area under § 122.183;

(v) The employee permits the approved Customs access seal to be used by any other person or refuses to openly display or produce it upon the proper demand of a Customs officer;

(vi) The employee uses the approved Customs access seal in connection with a matter not related to his employment or not constituting a duty described in the written justification required by § 122.182(c)(1);

(vii) The employee refuses or neglects to obey any proper order of a Customs officer, or any Customs order, rule, or regulation;

(viii) For all employees of the bond holder, if the bond required by § 122.182(c) is determined to be insufficient in amount or lacking sufficient sureties, and a satisfactory new bond with good and sufficient sureties is not furnished within a reasonable time;

(ix) The employee no longer requires access to the Customs security area for an extended period of time at the airport of issuance because of a change in duties, termination of employment, or other reason; or

(x) The employee or employer fails to provide the notification of a change in circumstances as required under § 122.184(b) or (c) or the employee fails to report the loss or theft of a Customs access seal as required under § 122.185.

(b) Notice of revocation or suspension. The port director will revoke or suspend access to the Customs security area and demand surrender of the Customs access seal by giving notice of the revocation or suspension and demand in writing to the employee, with a copy of the notice to the employer. The notice will indicate whether the revocation or suspension is effective immediately or is proposed.

(1) Immediate revocation or suspension. When the revocation or suspension of access and the surrender of the Customs access seal are effective immediately, the port director will issue a final notice of revocation or suspension. The port director or his designee may deny physical access to the Customs security area and may demand surrender of an approved Customs access seal at any time on an emergency basis prior to issuance of a final notice of revocation or suspension whenever in the judgment of the port director or his designee an emergency situation involving public health, safety, or security is involved and, in such a case, a final notice of revocation or suspension will be issued to the affected employee within 10 calendar days of the emergency action. A final notice of revocation or suspension will state the specific grounds for the immediate revocation or suspension, direct the employee to immediately surrender the Customs access seal if that Customs access seal has not already been surrendered, and advise the employee that he may choose to pursue one of the following two options:

(i) Submit a new application for an approved Customs access seal, in accordance with the provisions of § 122.182(c), on or after the 180th calendar day following the date of the final notice of revocation or suspension; or

(ii) File a written administrative appeal of the final notice of revocation or suspension with the port director in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section within 30 calendar days of the date of the final notice of revocation or suspension. The appeal may request that a hearing be held in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section, and in that case the appeal also must demonstrate that there is a genuine issue of fact that is material to the revocation or suspension action.

(2) Proposed revocation or suspension -

(i) Issuance of notice. When the revocation or suspension of access and the surrender of the Customs access seal is proposed, the port director will issue a notice of proposed revocation or suspension. The notice of proposed revocation or suspension will state the specific grounds for the proposed action, inform the employee that he may continue to have access to the Customs security area and may retain the Customs access seal pending issuance of a final notice under paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section, and advise the employee that he may file with the port director a written response addressing the grounds for the proposed action within 10 calendar days of the date the notice of proposed action was received by the employee. The employee may respond by accepting responsibility, explaining extenuating circumstances, and/or providing rebuttal evidence. The employee also may ask for a meeting with the port director or his designee to discuss the proposed action.

(ii) Final notice -

(A) Based on nonresponse. If the employee does not respond to the notice of proposed action, the port director will issue a final notice of revocation or suspension within 30 calendar days of the date the notice of proposed action was received by the employee. The final notice of revocation or suspension will state the specific grounds for the revocation or suspension, direct the employee to immediately surrender the Customs access seal, and advise the employee that he may choose to pursue one of the two options specified in paragraphs (b)(1)(i) and (ii) of this section.

(B) Based on response. If the employee files a timely response, the port director will issue a final determination regarding the status of the employee's right of access to the Customs security area within 30 calendar days of the date the employee's response was received by the port director. If this final determination is adverse to the employee, then the final notice of revocation or suspension will state the specific grounds for the revocation or suspension, direct the employee to immediately surrender the Customs access seal, and advise the employee that he may choose to pursue one of the two options specified in paragraphs (b)(1)(i) and (ii) of this section.

(c) Appeal procedures -

(1) Filing of appeal. The employee may file a written appeal of the final notice of revocation or suspension with the port director within 10 calendar days following receipt of the final notice of revocation or suspension. The appeal must be filed in duplicate and must set forth the response of the employee to the statement of the port director. The port director may, in his discretion, allow the employee additional time to submit documentation or other information in support of the appeal.

(2) Action by port director -

(i) If a hearing is requested. If the appeal requests that a hearing be held, the port director will first review the appeal to determine whether there is a genuine issue of fact that is material to the revocation or suspension action. If a hearing is required because the port director finds that there is a genuine issue of fact that is material to the revocation or suspension action, a hearing will be held, and a decision on the appeal will be rendered, in accordance with paragraphs (d) through (f) of this section. If the port director finds that there is no genuine issue of fact that is material to the revocation or suspension action, no hearing will be held and the port director will forward the administrative record as provided in paragraph (c)(2)(ii) of this section for the rendering of a decision on the appeal under paragraph (c)(3) of this section.

(ii) CMC review. If no hearing is requested or if the port director finds that a requested hearing is not required, following receipt of the appeal the port director will forward the administrative record to the director of field operations at the Customs Management Center having jurisdiction over the office of the port director for a decision on the appeal. The transmittal of the port director must include a response to any disputed issues raised in the appeal.

(3) Action by the director. Following receipt of the administrative record from the port director, the director of field operations will render a written decision on the appeal based on the record forwarded by the port director. The decision will be rendered within 30 calendar days of receipt of the record and will be transmitted to the port director and served by the port director on the employee. A decision on an appeal rendered under this paragraph will constitute the final administrative action on the matter.

(d) Hearing. A hearing will be conducted in connection with an appeal of a final notice of revocation or suspension of access to the Customs security area only if the affected employee in writing requests a hearing and demonstrates that there is a genuine issue of fact that is material to the revocation or suspension action. If a hearing is required, it must be held before a hearing officer designated by the Commissioner, or his designee. The employee will be notified of the time and place of the hearing at least 5 calendar days before the hearing. The employee may be represented by counsel at the revocation or suspension hearing. All evidence and testimony of witnesses in the proceeding, including substantiation of charges and the answer to the charges, must be presented. Both parties will have the right of cross'examination. A stenographic record of the proceedings will be made upon request and a copy furnished to the employee. At the conclusion of the proceedings or review of a written appeal, the hearing officer must promptly transmit all papers and the stenographic record to the director of field operations, together with the recommendation for final action. If neither the employee nor his attorney appears for a scheduled hearing, the hearing officer must record that fact, accept any appropriate testimony, and conclude the hearing. The hearing officer must promptly transmit all papers, together with his recommendations, to the director of field operations.

(e) Additional written views. Within 10 calendar days after delivery of a copy of the stenographic record of the hearing to the director of field operations, either party may submit to the director of field operations additional written views and arguments on matters in the record. A copy of any submission will be provided to the other party. Within 10 calendar days of receipt of the copy of the submission, the other party may file a reply with the director of field operations, and a copy of the reply will be provided to the other party. No further submissions will be accepted.

(f) Decision. After consideration of the recommendation of the hearing officer and any additional written submissions and replies made under paragraph (e) of this section, the director of field operations will render a written decision. The decision will be transmitted to the port director and served by the port director on the employee. A decision on an appeal rendered under this paragraph will constitute the final administrative action on the matter.

[T.D. 02-40, 67 FR 48986, July 29, 2002; 67 FR 51928, Aug. 9, 2002; 67 FR 54023, Aug. 20, 2002]