New U.S. customs rules clarify importers’ rights

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Aug. 13, 1999) — The U.S. Customs Service has issued regulations clarifying the rights of importers whose goods are detained or denied entry into the United States.

Customs officials must tell an importer why goods are being detained, and decide within 30 days whether to deny them entry. They also create a dispute mechanism to allow the importer to challenge the decision.

The regulations were published in Wednesday’s Federal Register. Importers have complained of goods being held for weeks without a reason.

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