19 U.S. Code § 1509 - Examination of books and witnesses
A summons issued pursuant to this section may be served by any person designated in the summons to serve it. Service upon a natural person may be made by personal delivery of the summons to him. Service may 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 delivering the summons to an officer, or managing or general agent, or to any other agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process. The certificate of service signed by the person serving the summons is prima facie evidence of the facts it states on the hearing of an application for the enforcement of the summons. When the summons requires the production of records, such records shall be described in the summons with reasonable specificity.
The Customs Service shall identify and publish a list of the records or entry information that is required to be maintained and produced under subsection (a)(1)(A) of this section.
After consultation with the importing community, the Customs Service shall by regulation establish a recordkeeping compliance program which the parties listed in section 1508(a) of this title may participate in after being certified by the Customs Service under paragraph (2). Participation in the recordkeeping compliance program by recordkeepers is voluntary.
For purposes of this subsection, the term “information” means any record, statement, declaration, document, or electronically stored or transmitted information or data referred to in subsection (a)(1)(A) of this section.
A penalty imposed under this section may be remitted or mitigated under section 1618 of this title.
Nothing in this subsection shall limit or preclude the Customs Service from issuing, or seeking the enforcement of, a customs summons.
Within a reasonable time after receiving written notice under subparagraph (A), the recordkeeper shall notify the Customs Service of the steps it has taken to prevent a recurrence of the violation.
The Secretary shall promulgate regulations to implement this paragraph. Such regulations may specify the time periods for compliance with a demand for information and provide guidelines which define repeated violations for purposes of this paragraph. Any penalty issued for a recordkeeping violation shall take into account the degree of compliance compared to the total number of importations, the nature of the demanded records and the recordkeeper’s cooperation.
Title I, referred to in subsec. (g)(2)(C), means title I of act June 17, 1930, ch. 497, as amended, which contains the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States and which is not set out in the Code. See notes preceding section 1202 of this title and Publication of Harmonized Tariff Schedule note set out under section 1202 of this title.
Provisions substantially the same, in most respects, as those in this section, were contained in act Oct. 3, 1913, ch. 16, § III, O, 38 Stat. 188, which substantially reenacted the provisions of Customs Administrative Act of June 10, 1890, ch. 407, § 16, 26 Stat. 138, as renumbered and reenacted without other change by the Payne-Aldrich Tariff Act of Aug. 5, 1909, ch. 6, § 28, 36 Stat. 100. Section III of the 1913 act was superseded and more closely assimilated to this section by act Sept. 21, 1922, ch. 356, title IV, § 508, 42 Stat. 968, and repealed by section 643 thereof. Section 508 of the 1922 act was superseded by section 509 of act June 17, 1930, comprising this section, and repealed by section 651(a)(1) of the 1930 act.
2002—Subsec. (b)(6). Pub. L. 107–210 added par. (6).
1996—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 104–295, § 3(a)(1), substituted “(d)(1)(A)” for “(c)(1)(A)” in concluding provisions.
Subsec. (b)(3), (4). Pub. L. 104–295, § 3(a)(10), substituted “officer designated pursuant to regulations” for “appropriate regional commissioner”.
1993—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103–182, § 615(1)(A), substituted “, fees and taxes” for “and taxes” in two places in introductory provisions.
Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 103–182, § 615(1)(B), amended par. (1) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (1) read as follows: “examine, or cause to be examined, upon reasonable notice, any record, statement, declaration or other document, described in the notice with reasonable specificity, which may be relevant to such investigation or inquiry;”.
Subsec. (a)(2)(A). Pub. L. 103–182, § 615(1)(C), amended subpar. (A) generally. Prior to amendment, subpar. (A) read as follows: “the person who imported, or knowingly caused to be imported, merchandise into the customs territory of the United States,”. See Construction of 1993 Amendment note below.
Subsec. (a)(2)(A)(ii). Pub. L. 103–182, § 205(b), amended generally cl. (ii), as amended by Pub. L. 103–182, § 615(1)(C). Prior to amendment, cl. (ii) read as follows: “exported merchandise, or knowingly caused merchandise to be exported, to Canada,”. See Construction of 1993 Amendment note below.
Subsec. (a)(2)(B), (C). Pub. L. 103–182, § 615(1)(C), amended subpars. (B) and (C) generally. Prior to amendment, subpars. (B) and (C) read as follows:
“(B) any officer, employee, or agent of such person,
“(C) any person having possession, custody, or care of records relating to such importation, or”.
Subsec. (a)(2)(D). Pub. L. 103–182, § 615(1)(D), substituted a semicolon for comma at end.
Subsecs. (b), (c). Pub. L. 103–182, § 615(2), (3), added subsec. (b) and redesignated former subsec. (b) as (c). Former subsec. (c) redesignated (d).
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 103–182, § 615(2), redesignated subsec. (c) as (d).
Subsec. (d)(1)(A). Pub. L. 103–182, § 615(4)(A), substituted “those” for “statements, declarations, or documents” in introductory provisions.
Subsec. (d)(1)(C)(i). Pub. L. 103–182, § 615(4)(B), inserted “, unless such customhouse broker is the importer of record on an entry” after “broker”.
Subsec. (d)(4)(A). Pub. L. 103–182, § 615(4)(E), inserted “, fees,” after “duties”.
Subsecs. (e) to (g). Pub. L. 103–182, § 615(5), added subsecs. (e) to (g).
Subsec. (c)(1)(A). Pub. L. 99–570, § 3117(2), amended subpar. (A) generally. Prior to amendment, subpar. (A) read as follows: “The term ‘records’ includes statements, declarations, or documents required to be kept under section 1508 of this title.”
1978—Pub. L. 95–410 substituted subsec. (a) to (c) provisions for examination of books and witnesses for prior provisions for examination of importer and others, which authorized appropriate customs officers to issue citations for examination under oath of any owner, importer, consignee, agent, or other person upon any material matter or thing respecting any imported merchandise then under consideration or previously imported within one year, in ascertaining the classification or the value thereof or the rate or amount of duty and to require production of any letters, accounts, contracts, invoices, or other documents relating to the merchandise, and the reduction of the testimony to writing, required the testimony to be filed and preserved under Customs Court rules, and authorized consideration of the evidence in subsequent proceedings relating to the merchandise.
1970—Pub. L. 91–271 substituted “Appropriate customs officer” for “Collectors and appraisers”.
1948—Act June 25, 1948, struck out “and judges and divisions of the United States Customs Court” after “Collectors and appraisers” in first sentence.
Amendment by Pub. L. 107–210 applicable to petitions for certification filed under part 2 or 3 of subchapter II of chapter 12 of this title on or after the date that is 90 days after Aug. 6, 2002, except as otherwise provided, see section 151 of Pub. L. 107–210, set out as a note preceding section 2271 of this title.
Amendment by section 205(b) of Pub. L. 103–182 effective on the date the North American Free Trade Agreement enters into force with respect to the United States [Jan. 1, 1994], see section 213(b) of Pub. L. 103–182, set out as an Effective Date note under section 3331 of this title.
Act June 25, 1948, ch. 646, § 38, 62 Stat. 992, provided that the amendment made by that act is effective Sept. 1, 1948.
Amendment by section 205(b) of Pub. L. 103–182 to be made after amendment by section 615 of Pub. L. 103–182 is executed, see section 212 of Pub. L. 103–182, set out as a note under section 58c of this title.
For transfer of functions, personnel, assets, and liabilities of the United States Customs Service of the Department of the Treasury, including functions of the Secretary of the Treasury relating thereto, to the Secretary of Homeland Security, and for treatment of related references, see sections 203(1), 551(d), 552(d), and 557 of Title 6, Domestic Security, and the Department of Homeland Security Reorganization Plan of November 25, 2002, as modified, set out as a note under section 542 of Title 6.
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