e-Allegations Frequently Asked Questions
e-Allegations provides a means for the public to report to CBP any suspected violations of trade laws or regulations related to the importation of goods into the U.S. There are basically five categories of trade violations; forced labor, revenue evasion, merchandise violations, shipping violations, and miscellaneous trade violations. See our e-Allegations Violations webpage for more information.
An e-Allegation informant may remain anonymous but this may hamper CBP’s enforcement efforts when further contact with the informant may be helpful to obtain more detailed information. CBP endeavors to protect any information provided by an informant from public disclosure. In most cases, the Privacy Act, the Trade Secrets Act, and CBP regulations prevent CBP from disclosing such information and also from disclosing the results of any research conducted as the result of an e-Allegation.
While CBP takes all trade violation allegations seriously and endeavors to protect US industries/businesses from unfair trade practices, our office cannot disclose what specific enforcement actions, if any, were taken in regard to your case due to the limitations of the Trade Secrets Act, the Privacy Act, and CBP regulations. We can provide general information regarding your allegation, such as whether the case is open or closed. Any additional requests for information regarding your allegation should be filed through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) process. For information on how to file a FOIA request, please follow the directions found within 6 CFR § 5.3 Requirements for making requests or go to CBP’s FOIA website.
The length of an investigation depends on the complexity of the circumstances surrounding the alleged violation and the enforcement actions required. If a penalty is involved, for instance, the processing of the case can take over a year to complete. On the other hand, the interception of counterfeit merchandise or hazardous material can happen shortly after an allegation is received.
In the event of a recovery, an informant may be entitled to compensation of up to 25 percent of the net recovery to the government from duties withheld; from any fine (civil or criminal), forfeited bail bond, penalty, or forfeiture incurred; or, if the forfeiture is remitted, from the monetary penalty recovered for remission of the forfeiture [Per 19 U.S. Code § 1619 and 19 CFR 161.16]. The amount of the award paid shall not exceed $250,000 for any one case; regardless of the number of recoveries that result from the information furnished; however, no claim of less than $100 will be paid.
NOTE: A claim must be filed in duplicate on DHS Form 4623. Compensation will only be considered once all civil and criminal actions are finalized.