19 CFR 163.7 - Summons.

§ 163.7 Summons.

(a)Who may be served. During the course of any investigation, audit or other inquiry initiated for the reasons set forth in § 163.6(c), the Commissioner of Customs or his designee, but no designee of the Commissioner below the rank of port director, Center director, field director of regulatory audit or special agent in charge, may issue a summons requiring a person within a reasonable period of time to appear before the appropriate Customs officer and to produce records or give relevant testimony under oath or both. Such a summons may be issued to any person who:

(1) Imported, or knowingly caused to be imported, merchandise into the customs territory of the United States;

(2) Exported merchandise, or knowingly caused merchandise to be exported, to a NAFTA country as defined in 19 U.S.C. 3301(4) (see also part 181 of this chapter) or to Canada during such time as the United States-Canada Free Trade Agreement is in force with respect to, and the United States applies that Agreement to, Canada;

(3) Transported or stored merchandise that was or is carried or held under customs bond, or knowingly caused such transportation or storage;

(4) Filed a declaration, entry, or drawback claim with Customs;

(5) Is an officer, employee, or agent of any person described in paragraph (a)(1) through (a)(4) of this section;

(6) Has possession, custody or care of records relating to an importation or other activity described in paragraph (a)(1) through (a)(4) of this section; or

(7) Customs may deem proper.

(b)Contents of summons -

(1)Appearance of person. Any summons issued under this section to compel the appearance of a person shall state:

(i) The name, title, and telephone number of the Customs officer before whom the appearance shall take place;

(ii) The address within the customs territory of the United States where the person shall appear, not to exceed 100 miles from the place where the summons was served;

(iii) The time of appearance; and

(iv) The name, address, and telephone number of the Customs officer issuing the summons.

(2)Production of records. If a summons issued under this section requires the production of records, the summons shall set forth the information specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section and shall also describe the records in question with reasonable specificity.

(c)Service of summons -

(1)Who may serve. Any Customs officer is authorized to serve a summons issued under this section if designated in the summons to serve it.

(2)Method of service -

(i)Natural person. Service upon a natural person shall be made by personal delivery.

(ii)Corporation, partnership, association. Service shall be made upon a domestic or foreign corporation, or upon a partnership or other unincorporated association which is subject to suit under a common name, by delivery to an officer, managing or general agent, or any other agent authorized by appointment or law to receive service of process.

(3)Certificate of service. On the hearing of an application for the enforcement of a summons, the certificate of service signed by the person serving the summons is prima facie evidence of the facts it states.

(d)Transcript of testimony under oath. Testimony of any person taken pursuant to a summons may be taken under oath and when so taken shall be transcribed or otherwise recorded. When testimony is transcribed or otherwise recorded, a copy shall be made available on request to the witness unless for good cause shown the issuing officer determines under 5 U.S.C. 555 that a copy should not be provided. In that event, the witness shall be limited to inspection of the official transcript of the testimony. The testimony or transcript may be in the form of a written statement under oath provided by the person examined at the request of the Customs officer.

[T.D. 98-56, 63 FR 32946, June 16, 1998, as amended by CBP Dec. 11-20, 76 FR 65961, Oct. 25, 2011; CBP Dec. No. 16-26, 81 FR 93024, Dec. 20, 2016]

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