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Suspension and Debarment

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has instituted an operational approach to combating trade violations, safeguarding economic security and detecting, deterring, and disrupting illicit trade practices. In line with this strategy, CBP has incorporated nonprocurement suspension and debarment (S&D) procedures into the trade enforcement process as an added defense measure. S&D action against parties violating trade laws will protect the public interest and prevent individuals or companies whose offenses correlate with a lack of present responsibility from broadly doing business with the government.

Suspension and debarment actions prevent companies and individuals from participating in government contracts, subcontracts, loans, grants and other assistance programs. The effect of suspension and debarment by a federal agency is government wide. This administrative process is used to address non-compliance with specific laws, malfeasance, or gross misconduct affecting the Federal Government's interests. Suspensions and debarment actions ensure the Federal Government only does business with individuals/companies/recipients who do not pose a business risk to the government. A suspension or debarment action would not prevent individuals from traveling internationally. A suspension or debarment action would not prevent companies and individuals from importing into or exporting from the United States.

What is Suspension?

Suspension occurs when immediate action is necessary to protect the Government’s interest. Suspension is a temporary exclusion from taking part in covered transactions, pending the completion of an agency investigation and any judicial or administrative proceeding that may ensue. May be based on indictments, information or adequate evidence involving crimes, fraud, embezzlement, theft, forgery, bribery, poor performance, non-performance, or false statements. Suspension is a temporary action which may last up to one year and is effective immediately.

What is Debarment?

Debarment is a final decision, for a specific period of time, which renders an individual or organization ineligible to receive, or participate in, Federal procurement or Non-procurement transactions. Results in the imposition of a set period of time decided on a case by case basis.

What are the Suspension and Debarment procedures?

  1. Cases are referred to the CBP Suspension and Debarment Official (SDO).

  2. The SDO makes a decision based on the referral.

  3. Notice of suspension or proposed debarment is provided to company or individual.

  4. Notice will provide for an opportunity to be heard and present matters in opposition to the SDO.

  5. SDO makes a final decision based on the administrative record.

  6. The company or individual is notified of the SDO’s debarment decision.

  7. If the company or individual is debarred, their information is entered into the System for Award Management (SAM).

Additional Resources

Suspension and Debarment Frequently Asked Questions

The Suspension and Debarment Division can be contacted at CBPsuspensionanddebarment@cbp.dhs.gov

Last modified: 
October 11, 2017