Updates to Customs Law: 21st Century Customs Framework

By | 2023-11-08T00:03:04+00:00 November 30th, 2021|U.S. Customs|

Importers and other members of the US trade community should keep their ears to the ground for legislative and regulatory updates, as it has a huge impact in how they conduct business. Today, we’ll be talking about the 21st Century Customs Framework, also known as 21CCF.

It is a new customs modernization legislation that’s being readied, after more than 30 years.

It is currently taking shape in the congress, and the trade community is being invited to share some input already (more on that later!). The legislation’s main focus right now is to advance the US Customs and Border Protection framework. This will include new tech and some modern solutions.

The intention here is to help improve economic security and also boost data integrity.

Below, we’ll cover some of the main provisions.

Debarred or suspended persons

CBP can prevent these persons from doing business with the government or being a part of the IOR program. Additionally, CBP can deny any exemptions for imports regarding suspended or debarred persons. They can also issue certain rules of declaration or entry.

AD/CV evasion

CBP can disclose the importer’s name within an Enforce and Protect Investigation. This will happen if the importer is not identified in that allegation and they think that evasion is taking place, which is extremely important to keep in mind.

Recommended reading: What is Anti-Dumping Duty and Countervailing Duty? 


The updates allow CBP to forfeit items that violate the Food, Drug and Cosmetic act, aside from any other counterfeit goods. They are also receiving authority for seizing exports and also excluding any goods that were forfeited from the current notice requirements.


CBP can share info on the intellectual property import violations that are taking place. It’s also requiring counterfeit imports to be seized, and if there’s any written consent from the owner, then these are forfeited. Section 337 exclusion order enforcement scan be filed only with the International Trade Commission. 


When it comes to penalties, the gross negligence standard would be removed. The fraud and negligence standards are redefined, and there’s also an exception to requiring any pre-penalty notices if the claim is $500k or more. There’s also a new standard for creating penalty claims and determinations.

21st Century Customs Framework penalties

Moreover, the liability is expanding to any person when it comes to any unlawful acts. CBP is authorized to deliver penalties to any violative trade actors. This also helps clarify the CBP authority when it comes to assessing penalties for any unlawful imports. 

Record keeping

The record-keeping requirements are expanded to additional parties. There’s also a new statement that if a person does not comply with the CBP demand for the records, they can take action.

Entry filing

All data needs to be filed electronically and an IOR or the agent can convert the info or documentation. They can also certify the entry data. CBP is allowed to utilize all the entry information for any kind of lawful purpose.

Trade data

CBP can start collecting additional info from other parties. Collected data can be used for any lawful purpose. CBP can even impose penalties of $5000 for the first violation and $10000 for any violations after that.

These are important things to understand, as these changes are much-needed in the customs bill. However, trading partners can share their input, so there will be some of these ideas that might change!

We often talk about the importance of staying informed as an importer. And this particular set of legislation is no different. While most of the modifications to the legal frameworks the US trade community uses is to streamline things and make things easier on all sides, there is always a chance that it changes the way you do business.

Partnering with an experienced customs broker will help you stay up-to-date and protect yourself against financial loss.