Focused Assessments: What Are They?

A Focused Assessment is a detailed audit by U.S. Customs of an importer's internal controls for Customs transactions, together with selected import transactions. The purpose of the assessment is to determine the company's level of compliance, and whether are sufficient systems in place to ensure an acceptable level of compliance with Customs laws and regulations. If a company is found to be non-compliant, the company will be required to formulate a compliance improvement plan, and tender any revenue determined owing.

The stakes are often high for a company found to be noncompliance, as Customs continues to measure company compliance through intensive cargo exams on a more frequent, ongoing basis. This process can significantly disrupt a company's "just-in-time" delivery program.

In-Depth view of The FA Program

FA Guidelines

Customs has posted detailed guidelines on preparing for Focused Assessment audits, including technical guides for creating internal controls for valuation, classification, and special duty provisions. Click to view an index of the PDF version of Customs Focused Assessment Documents.

General information on trade compliance