WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) today published a notice of proposed rulemaking to amend the regulation allowing for the publication of notices of seizure and intent to forfeit on a government forfeiture web site, instead of solely by traditional paper-based publication methods. 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.
CBP maintains the authority to seize property violating certain laws enforced or administered by CBP or Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and statute requires that CBP publish notice of these seizures and intent to forfeit for any prohibited importations, conveyance used to transport or store a controlled substance or narcotic, monetary instrument, conveyance, merchandise or baggage not to exceed $500,000 as directed by the U.S. Treasury Department.
Currently CBP is required to publish these notices in different ways based on appraised value. For property appraised at more than $5,000, CBP must publish administrative seizure and forfeiture notices for at least three weeks in a newspaper circulated at the port and in the judicial district where the property was seized. For property appraised at $5,000 or less, CBP must post a notice for three weeks at the customhouse nearest the seizure location.
The proposed changes will revise the publishing of these notices by utilizing the Department of Justice forfeiture website, which will remove the geographical constraints of the previous system. 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.