WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) today published in the Federal Register a final rule that allows CBP to publish seizure and forfeiture notices on the Internet. This change will provide notice to a broader range of the public without the geographical limitations that exist under the current procedure which rely solely on local print publications or customhouse postings.
The idea was submitted by CBP Paralegal Specialist Paul Behe and selected as one of four finalists out of more than 18,000 ideas submitted for the President's 2010 Securing Americans Value and Efficiency (SAVE) Award.
Under this final rule, Internet posting will be available for a longer period of time (30 days) compared to the minimum statutory requirement of three weeks (21 days). This final rule provides CBP the discretion to publish notice in a print medium when CBP determines that additional outreach would be appropriate. In addition to these advantages, CBP expects that Internet publishing will provide savings to the government.
CBP will utilize the Department of Justice (DOJ) forfeiture Web site, located at forfeiture.gov. The DOJ forfeiture Web site currently contains a list of pending notices of civil and criminal forfeiture actions in various district courts and federal government agencies.
Notices will be posted online for 30 days for all property regardless of value, although for property appraised at $5,000 or less, notices will continue to be physically posted at the customs location nearest the place of seizure.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.