Petitions for Remission or Mitigation of Forfeiture (“petition for relief”) are written presentations (sometimes supplemented with an oral presentation) whereby an alleged violator of a customs law or regulation responds to the government’s issuance of a penalty, claim for liquidated damages, or notice of seizure. A petition is the means for the alleged violator to convince Customs that there is a reason to remit or mitigate the penalty, liquidated damages, or seizure. Petitions are usually due 30 days from the date stamp on the notice (not the date in which it is mailed or received). One may ask for an extension if need be. Customs regulations (19 C.F.R. § 171.1) provide the following information when preparing a petition:
The petition for remission or mitigation need not be in any particular form. Customs can require that the petition and any documents submitted in support of the petition be in English or be accompanied by an English translation. The petition must set forth the following:
(1) A description of the property involved (if a seizure);
(2) The date and place of the violation or seizure;
(3) The facts and circumstances relied upon by the petitioner to justify remission or mitigation; and
(4) If a seizure case, proof of a petitionable interest in the seized property.
The alleged violator begins at a disadvantage – it is the accused who has the burden of proving its innocence. Thus, it is best to consult with an attorney about your options immediately, time is of the essence!
For more information about this blog post, please contact Abady Law Firm, P.C. and speak with our customs attorney at (800) 549-5099. Also visit www.customsesq.com to chat with a customs lawyer — who has insight into the administrative petition process — about your company’s import situation and to schedule a consultation. To chat with us, click the bottom right corner tab of our homepage.
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