The imposition of several different tariffs across lists of products spanning nearly every category of product over the last several years has meant that a keen eye towards U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) compliance remains a critical part of any supply chain. A Customs broker that understands and can adapt to the rapid pace of change and can apply that to any business is crucial now more than ever for achieving success.

Section 301 and 232 duties have meant billions of dollars in new expenses for US importers and consumers. These duties are not easy to navigate on their own, as the rollout nature of section 301 duties from China meant that importers must ensure their products appear or not on several lists. These 301 duties are not limited to China either ­– the same mechanism is being used for imports from Europe, and these continue to change as political events unfold between the USA and EU.

Section 232 duties have hit the metals industry hard but continue to remain in a state of flux. Both administrations have taken slightly different approaches to what countries of origin they apply to, rescinding and changing the nature of several tariffs. With recent legal decisions on the books and more pending, it is as important as ever for importers to be watching their paperwork to ensure they are in compliance with new rules.

While new duties in place push revenues to new heights every year, U.S. Customs is undergoing a refocus on enforcement for revenue, and seeking to be sure that importers are not underpaying or illegally avoiding payment of duties. Following in-depth reports from within the government showing that CBP was not maximizing its revenue a few years ago, internal changes have led to them pursuing revenue opportunities more aggressively.

One of CBP’s major weapons in this fight is their enhanced Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) capabilities. With a more comprehensive and single-window view into all US imports and most exports as well, it is getting easier every day for Customs to identify aberrations in patterns to investigate potential nonpayment or underpayment of duties. Soon, importers who rely on obscurity to save them from Customs’ ire will no longer be safe; remaining compliant with CBP rules and regulations is the only way for importers to guarantee they will not be subject to enforcement.

A good Customs broker like JM Rodgers can make all the difference in the world in this environment. As an ISO 9001-certified firm, JM Rodgers is committed to continuous improvement and excellence, with processes involving multiple reviews and checks on all entries to ensure there are no errors. Internal audits while entries are live, cross-checked with Customized parts dictionaries, manuals, and indexes, mean that the work is done correctly the first time.

JM Rodgers always puts compliance first and can help your company navigate these challenging times for importers. To learn more about what we can do for you, please contact our SVP of Sales Andrew Galloway at (973) 726-5340, or via email at