181.74 Verification visit procedures.§ 181.74 Verification visit procedures.
(a) Written consent required. Prior to conducting a verification visit in Canada or Mexico pursuant to § 181.72(a)(3)(iii) of this part, CBP shall obtain the written consent of the Canadian or Mexican exporter or producer of the good or producer of the material whose premises are to be visited.
(b) Written consent procedures. The written consent provided for in paragraph (a) of this section shall be delivered by certified or registered mail, or by any other method that generates a reliable receipt, to the CBP officer who gave the notification provided for in § 181.73 of this part.
(c) Failure to provide written consent or to cooperate or to maintain records. Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (d) of this section, where a Canadian or Mexican exporter or producer of a good, or a Canadian or Mexican producer of a material, has not given its written consent to a proposed verification visit within 30 calendar days of receipt of notification pursuant to § 181.73 of this part, CBP may deny preferential tariff treatment to that good, or for purposes of determining whether a good is an originating good may consider as non-originating that material, that would have been the subject of the visit, provided that, as regards the good, notice of intent to deny such treatment is given to that exporter or producer of the good and to the U.S. importer thereof prior to taking such action. A failure on the part of the Canadian or Mexican exporter or producer of a good, or on the part of the Canadian or Mexican producer of a material, to maintain records or provide access to such records or otherwise cooperate during the verification visit shall mean that the verification visit never took place and may be treated by CBP in the same manner as a failure to give written consent to a verification visit. However, in the case of a Canadian or Mexican producer of a good who is found during a verification visit to have not maintained records in accordance with the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles applied in the producer's country, CBP may deny preferential tariff treatment on the good based solely on a failure to so maintain those records only if the producer does not conform the records to those Principles within 60 calendar days after CBP informs the producer in writing of that failure.
(d) Postponement of visit in Canada or Mexico. Following receipt of the notification provided for in § 181.73 of this part, the Canadian or Mexican customs administration may, within 15 calendar days of receipt of the notification, postpone the proposed verification visit for a period not exceeding 60 calendar days from the date of such receipt by providing written notice of the postponement to the CBP officer who issued the notification of the verification visit, unless a longer period is requested and agreed to by CBP. Such a postponement shall not constitute a failure to provide written consent within the meaning of paragraph (c) of this section and shall not otherwise by itself constitute a valid basis upon which CBP may:
(1) Consider a material that is used in the production of a good to be a non-originating material; or
(2) Deny preferential tariff treatment to a good.
(e) Verification visits within the United States - (1) Notification and consent procedure. When the Canadian or Mexican customs administration intends to conduct a verification visit in the United States, notification of such intent will be given, and consent will be required, as provided for under Article 506 of the NAFTA. For purposes of the required notification to CBP, such notification shall be sent to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of International Trade, Commercial Targeting and Enforcement, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20229.
(2) Postponement of visit. Following receipt of notification from the Canadian or Mexican customs administration of its intention to conduct a verification visit in the United States, CBP may, within 15 calendar days of receipt of the notification, postpone the proposed verification visit for a period not exceeding 60 calendar days from the date of such receipt by providing written notice of the postponement to the Canadian or Mexican customs administration.
(3) Designation of observers. A U.S. exporter or producer, including a producer of a material, whose good or material is the subject of a verification visit by the Canadian or Mexican customs administration shall be allowed to designate two observers to be present during the visit, subject to the following conditions:
(i) The U.S. exporter or producer shall not be required to designate observers;
(ii) There shall be no restriction on the class of persons that may be designated as observers by the U.S. exporter or producer;
(iii) The observers to be present are designated in the written consent to the proposed visit or subsequent thereto;
(iv) The observers do not participate in the verification visit in a manner other than as passive observers;
(v) The presence of observers shall in no way affect the right to have legal counsel or other advisors present during the visit;
(vi) There shall be no obligation on the part of the United States government or on the part of the Canadian or Mexican government to designate observers from its staff, even when the U.S. exporter or producer fails to, or specifically declines to, designate observers; and
(vii) The failure of the U.S. exporter or producer to designate observers shall not result in the postponement of the visit.[T.D. 95-68, 60 FR 46364, Sept. 6, 1995, as amended by CBP Dec. 07-76, 72 FR 52783, Sept. 17, 2007]