Compliance Programs

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If poor compliance practices are not addressed and corrected, the costs can add up quickly and result in a serious impact to your business.

Customs authorities in the United States and Canada are increasing their focus on compliance verification audits. This means that all importers will eventually be audited, regardless of size or industry. Compliance errors can mean escalating penalties, repetitive customs audits, repayment of past duties and taxes, border delays and storage fees, increased inspections and, ultimately, the loss of importing privileges. If poor compliance practices are not addressed and corrected, the costs can add up quickly and result in a serious impact to your business.

Livingston can help by providing the following services:

  • Compliance Assessment
  • Compliance Diagnostic
  • Process and Internal Control Design
  • Value Determination
  • Voluntary Disclosures and Appeals
  • Audits and Audit Assistance
  • Post-entry Audits
  • Compliance Assessment

    Our Compliance Assessment service simulates a full customs audit to determine your level of compliance and potential risk areas. It is better if we find the issues first, before Customs does. Our experts will look at your business process, systems, controls and documentation for tariff classification, valuation, origin determination, record keeping and duty reduction and will provide an improvement plan that demonstrates ways to improve internal processes and reduce risk.

    Learn more about Compliance Assessment.

    Compliance Diagnostic

    Compliance Diagnostic is a high-level review intended to highlight or uncover compliance issues and areas of concern. This service includes a summary report and recommendations that will provide you with a preliminary indication of where you need to focus your compliance efforts.

    We will complete a high-level review of importing practices, business process controls and procedures. We also select and evaluate a random sample of typical import transactions to determine if compliance concerns may exist.

    Learn more about Compliance Diagnostic.

    Process And Internal Control Design

    Livingston can develop internal processes and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that are both customized to your needs and designed to help you achieve compliance with regulatory and corporate governance requirements. Our experts will work directly with you to design and develop the entire trade compliance process, including any formal process documentation that is required.

    Learn more about Process and Internal Control Design.

    Value Determination

    All products must have a value for customs purposes. For the uninitiated, assigning a “value” to goods seems like a simple task, but the rules for determining a product’s value can be very complicated depending on the type of product and circumstances that surround the sale of the product. Our experts will help you navigate the various valuation methods and determine the accurate valuation for your goods.

    Learn more about Value Determination.

    Voluntary Disclosures And Appeals

    While importers still face some kind of fine, through voluntary disclosure you are able to reveal the issue to Customs in a positive and proactive way that will help lower the penalty amount. Consequences and penalties are more severe if Customs discovers the non-conformance first. We help you determine if your situation meets the criteria for voluntary disclosure and we then guide you through the process of submitting and receiving acceptance.

    If you find yourself in disagreement with customs authorities from a dispute involving valuation or tariff classification through to seizures or any other special import measure, you can appeal that decision. Our consultants have positive relationships with the authorities and possess the experience to guide you through the appeal process.

    Learn more about Voluntary Disclosures and Appeals.

    Audits And Audit Assistance

    If you receive a notice from Customs that you are about to be audited we can help. Audits can take over a year and a thousand hours to complete so companies in this situation look to Livingston for guidance. Our experts will provide you with continual assistance throughout the audit process and support you through the many requests made by customs auditors to help ensure as smooth an audit process as possible.

    Learn more about Audits and Audit Assistance.

    Post-Entry Audits

    Our post-entry experts review transactions to identify areas of non-compliance and offer practical solutions to correct errors and improve compliance efforts. We review each transaction to verify that adequate and accurate transaction records and in place to support claims regarding tariff classification, valuation and origin determination.

    Learn more about Post-entry Audits.