Trade Regulatory Audit (TRA) is comprised of Field Offices throughout the United States that conduct audits, provide other professional services, and serve as subject matter experts in key areas of specialization. TRA uses a risk-based approach to assess compliance with trade laws and regulations, while collaborating with other U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) components, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Homeland Security Investigations and Partner Government Agencies (PGAs), as appropriate. Through audits and other professional services, CBP protects government revenue, provides informed compliance to the trade community while presenting a deterrent to future violators, protects domestic industries from unfair trade practices, and facilitates legitimate trade. TRA conducts audits, including Focused Assessments, and other professional services.
Audits generally have targeted audit objectives and are compliance driven. Audits involve data analysis and risk assessment procedures to scope the audit. Depending on the audit objective, the audit may or may not include an assessment of the importer’s internal control over CBP compliance. Audits are often based on a referral to TRA. Audits also include the Focused Assessment Program, which is a comprehensive audit that uses a risk-based approach to determine if the importer represents an acceptable risk to CBP.
Other Professional Services (i.e., nonaudit services) are engagements not performed as audits but that require assistance consistent with auditors’ skills and expertise. Examples include (not all-inclusive):
- Risk Analysis and Survey Assessments (RASAs) are a collaborative, multifaceted process based on cooperation, information sharing, and joint decision making between the Office of Trade, other components of CBP, other Department of Homeland Security entities, and/or Partner Government Agencies, as appropriate. RASAs are performed under the authority of 19 United States Code (U.S.C.) §1509(a).
- Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) Trade Compliance Evaluations are conducted to support CBP’s CTPAT Trade Compliance Program. The evaluations assess the design of an applicant’s internal controls for achieving compliance with CBP regulations and laws to determine the importer’s readiness to assume the responsibilities of the Trade Compliance Program.