Canadian Shipper


Customs Border Protection names Livingston as participant in Importer Self-Assessment pilot

CHICAGO, Ill- Livingston International is participating in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) new Broker Importer Self-Assessment Pre-Certification pilot, a voluntary program that allows importers to monitor their own global trade compliance in exchange for benefits such as exemptions from comprehensive customs audits and expedited cargo release.

Livingston is one of only nine brokers selected by CBP to participate in this pilot program, said a company release.

To help mid-sized importers obtain these benefits, Livingston guides them through the Broker Importer Self-Assessment Pre-Certification Test evaluation process which is designed to assess the level of an importer’s internal controls through processes, procedures, risk assessments and self-testing plans. By allowing Livingston to perform the pre-certification evaluation, importers have the opportunity to strengthen their internal controls and implement CBP’s best practices prior to CBP’s final review of Livingston’s recommendation on whether the importer should be certified for the ISA program, the company said.

While the conventional approval process with CBP performing the ISA evaluation can often last up to a year, Livingston and other participating customs brokers can expedite the evaluation in as little as 120 days.

“The pre-certification evaluation offers an opportunity for mid-sized enterprises who demonstrate the internal controls necessary to maintain a high level of compliance with U.S. trade laws to facilitate international business with limited risks to their bottom line,” said Susan Pomerantz, senior director of trade management consulting at Livingston International. “By having a customs broker walk them through the self-assessment process, importers can take this voluntary approach that allows them maximum control of their own CBP compliance, while feeling reassured that a third-party expert is overseeing the process.”

“Not only will this program increase the pool of trusted traders and allow self-governance for those importers compliant with trade laws, it also offers Livingston a unique perspective,” says Pomerantz. “It helps us better understand our clients’ internal challenges and uncover new opportunities for them. As a result, we can better meet their compliance needs as they expand their business globally.”