View all text of Part V [§ 1581 - § 1631]

§ 1593a. Penalties for false drawback claims
(a) Prohibition
(1) General ruleNo person, by fraud, or negligence—
(A) may seek, induce or affect, or attempt to seek, induce, or affect, the payment or credit to that person or others of any drawback claim by means of—
(i) any document, written or oral statement, or electronically transmitted data or information, or act which is material and false, or
(ii) any omission which is material; or
(B) may aid or abet any other person to violate subparagraph (A).
(2) Exception
(b) Procedures
(1) Prepenalty notice
(A) In generalIf the Customs Service has reasonable cause to believe that there has been a violation of subsection (a) and determines that further proceedings are warranted, the Customs Service shall issue to the person concerned a written notice of intent to issue a claim for a monetary penalty. Such notice shall—
(i) identify the drawback claim;
(ii) set forth the details relating to the seeking, inducing, or affecting, or the attempted seeking, inducing, or affecting, or the aiding or procuring of, the drawback claim;
(iii) specify all laws and regulations allegedly violated;
(iv) disclose all the material facts which establish the alleged violation;
(v) state whether the alleged violation occurred as a result of fraud or negligence;
(vi) state the estimated actual or potential loss of revenue due to the drawback claim, and, taking into account all circumstances, the amount of the proposed monetary penalty; and
(vii) inform such person that he shall have a reasonable opportunity to make representations, both oral and written, as to why a claim for a monetary penalty should not be issued in the amount stated.
(B) Exceptions
(C) Prior approval
(2) Penalty claim
(c) Maximum penalties
(1) Fraud
(2) Negligence
(A) In general
(B) Repetitive violations
(3) Prior disclosure
(A) In generalSubject to subparagraph (B), if the person concerned discloses the circumstances of a violation of subsection (a) before, or without knowledge of the commencement of, a formal investigation of such violation, the monetary penalty assessed under this subsection may not exceed—
(i) if the violation resulted from fraud, an amount equal to the actual or potential revenue of which the United States is or may be deprived as a result of overpayment of the claim; or
(ii) if the violation resulted from negligence, an amount equal to the interest computed on the basis of the prevailing rate of interest applied under section 6621 of title 26 on the amount of actual revenue of which the United States is or may be deprived during the period that—(I) begins on the date of the overpayment of the claim; and(II) ends on the date on which the person concerned tenders the amount of the overpayment.
(B) Condition affecting penalty limitations
(C) Burden of proof
(4) Commencement of investigation
(5) Exclusivity
(d) Deprivation of lawful revenue
(e) Drawback compliance program
(1) In general
(2) CertificationA party may be certified as a participant in the drawback compliance program after meeting the general requirements established under the program or after negotiating an alternative program suited to the needs of the party and the Customs Service. Certification requirements shall take into account the size and nature of the party’s drawback program and the volume of claims. In order to be certified, the participant must be able to demonstrate that it—
(A) understands the legal requirements for filing claims, including the nature of the records required to be maintained and produced and the time periods involved;
(B) has in place procedures to explain the Customs Service requirements to those employees that are involved in the preparation of claims, and the maintenance and production of required records;
(C) has in place procedures regarding the preparation of claims and maintenance of required records, and the production of such records to the Customs Service;
(D) has designated a dependable individual or individuals to be responsible for compliance under the program and whose duties include maintaining familiarity with the drawback requirements of the Customs Service;
(E) has a record maintenance procedure approved by the Customs Service for original records, or, if approved by the Customs Service, for alternate records or recordkeeping formats other than the original records; and
(F) has procedures for notifying the Customs Service of variances to, and violations of, the requirements of the drawback compliance program or any negotiated alternative programs, and for taking corrective action when notified by the Customs Service for violations or problems regarding such program.
(f) Alternatives to penalties
(1) In generalWhen a party that—
(A) has been certified as a participant in the drawback compliance program under subsection (e); and
(B) is generally in compliance with the appropriate procedures and requirements of the program;
commits a violation of subsection (a), the Customs Service, shall, in the absence of fraud or repeated violations, and in lieu of a monetary penalty, issue a written notice of the violation to the party. Repeated violations by a party may result in the issuance of penalties and removal of certification under the program until corrective action, satisfactory to the Customs Service, is taken.
(2) Contents of noticeA notice of violation issued under paragraph (1) shall—
(A) state that the party has violated subsection (a);
(B) explain the nature of the violation; and
(C) warn the party that future violations of subsection (a) may result in the imposition of monetary penalties.
(3) Response to notice
(g) Repetitive violations
(1) A party who has been issued a written notice under subsection (f)(1) and subsequently commits a repeat negligent violation involving the same issue is subject to the following monetary penalties:
(A) 2d violation
(B) 3rd violation
(C) 4th and subsequent violations
(2) If a party that has been certified as a participant in the drawback compliance program under subsection (e) commits an alleged violation which was not repetitive, the party shall be issued a “warning letter”, and, for any subsequent violation, shall be subject to the same maximum penalty amounts stated in paragraph (1).
(h) Regulation
(i) Court of International Trade proceedingsNotwithstanding any other provision of law, in any proceeding commenced by the United States in the Court of International Trade for the recovery of any monetary penalty claimed under this section—
(1) all issues, including the amount of the penalty, shall be tried de novo;
(2) if the monetary penalty is based on fraud, the United States shall have the burden of proof to establish the alleged violation by clear and convincing evidence; and
(3) if the monetary penalty is based on negligence, the United States shall have the burden of proof to establish the act or omission constituting the violation, and the alleged violator shall have the burden of providing evidence that the act or omission did not occur as a result of negligence.
(June 17, 1930, ch. 497, title IV, § 593A, as added Pub. L. 103–182, title VI, § 622(a), Dec. 8, 1993, 107 Stat. 2181; amended Pub. L. 108–429, title I, § 1563(f), Dec. 3, 2004, 118 Stat. 2587.)