Because the Power of Attorney (POA) can authorize the movement of conveyances and merchandise into the United States, it is critical that it be examined carefully. By ensuring that each POA is valid, the broker joins U.S. Customs and Border Protection on the national security frontlines in verifying the data used to screen what enters this country.
In addition to security, the broker's own professional business interests and continuing obligation to demonstrate "reasonable care" require verification of the POA grantor's identity and legal authority (position in a company or partnership) to enter into a POA.
Here are some ways the broker can validate a Power of Attorney:
- To the greatest extent possible, have POAs completed in person so the grantor's personal identification (driver's license, passport, etc.) can be reviewed.
- Check applicable Web sites to verify the POA grantor's business and registration with State authorities.
- If the principal uses a trade or fictitious name in doing business, confirm that the name appears on the POA.
- Verify that the importer's name, importer number and Employer Identification Number (also known as the Federal Tax Identification Number) on the POA match what is in ACS.
- Check whether the POA grantor is named as a sanctioned or restricted person or entity by the U.S. Government. See the Bureau of Industry and Security's Export Enforcement.