Confusion Concerning CBP Forms 28 and 29

Monday, September 20, 2010

Confusion Concerning CBP Forms 28 and 29 for Prior Disclosure Purposes


In February of this year the American Association of Exporters and Importers (AAEI) wrote to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) asking for clarification of the agency’s use of CBP Forms 28 (Request for Information) and 29 (Notice of Action) as evidence that a formal investigation has been commenced, therefore, denying the importer the opportunity to submit a prior disclosure on the issue involved.

Daniel Baldwin, Assistant Commissioner, Office of International Trade for CBP responded to AAEI in a letter received on September 10, 2010.  He states “as a matter of law, Forms 28 and 29 may be considered a commencement document for prior disclosure purposes.  As a matter of policy, the Form 29 can and will be used as a document commencing a formal investigation and providing notification to the importer. As a matter of policy, however, the CBP Form 28 alone should not be routinely considered a “commencement document”.  CBP will be issuing clarifying guidelines that will set forth the circumstances in which the Form 28 may be so used.”

At this time CBP offers no guidance on how to distinguish a routine request from a formal commencement document.

To read CBP’s response to AAEI you may click on the following link: