Focused Assessment Program Overview and Updates Elizabeth Chiavetta
Focused Assessment Program Overview and Updates Elizabeth Chiavetta - Director, Audit Policy Alex Ebarle Assistant Field Director Regulatory Audit Headquarters Junichi Gondai - Auditor Office of International Trade San Francisco Field Office Regulatory Audit Office of International Trade Who is Regulatory Audit? Regulatory Audits (RAs) mission is to conduct postentry audits of importers and other private parties that interact with CBP and provide other professional
services in order to: Ensure compliance with laws and regulations Protect government revenue Support enforcement cases and court actions Protect domestic industries from unfair trade practices related to intellectual property rights and anti-dumping and countervailing duties (AD/CVD) Protect U.S. consumers from unsafe goods Facilitate legitimate trade through partnerships and informed compliance activities
2 Legal and Regulatory Authority 19 U.S.C. 1508 Recordkeeping 19 U.S.C. 1509 Examination of Books and Witnesses 19 C.F.R. Part 163 Recordkeeping 3
FA Overview Focused Assessment Program Comprehensive audits of importers that involve an assessment of internal control over import activities to determine if the importer poses an acceptable risk for complying with CBP laws and regulations comprising three possible phases Pre-Assessment Survey (PAS) Assessment Compliance Testing (ACT) Follow-Up Audit 5
FA Phases 6 FA Candidate Selection Risk based approach considering: Company size and complexity Nature and volume of import activity with regards to sensitive areas and Priority Trade Issues (PTIs)
Antidumping and Countervailing Duties Intellectual Property Rights Textiles and Wearing Apparel Free Trade Agreements Import Safety Nature and volume of import activity with regards to known risks (e.g., countries of origin, manufacturers, tariff classifications) 7
Outcomes PAS with Acceptable Risk = No significant internal control deficiencies/material noncompliances No additional follow-up by RA Opportunity to transition to the ISA Program PAS with Unacceptable Risk = Significant internal control deficiencies/material noncompliances May permit auditee to develop a Compliance Improvement Plan and perform self-testing / Perform
subsequent Follow-Up May proceed to an ACT 8 FA Update Reasons for FA Program Updates Adapt to changes in our environment that have occurred since the last major update impacting:
U.S. and world economies CBP risk parameters and processes Business practices Company profiles Reflect the current (December 2011 ) Revision of the Government Auditing Standards
Incorporate 2013 COSO Internal Control Integrated Framework 10 Impact Five general areas we anticipate will impact the importer: Increased emphasis on the consideration of significance/materiality in making audit decisions Expanded guidance on tailoring the audit approach to suit the specific circumstances of the importer
Replacing sample size matrices with more general sample size ranges Incorporated changes in report language 11 Effective Date Update only addresses the PAS phase; updates to other phases will be implemented at a later date Plan to implement updated program for all new PAS assignments started on or after October 1, 2014 Reaching out to the trade community through
events such as this Plan to update CBP.GOV with updated documents later this summer 12 FA PAS PROCESS Pre-Assessment Survey (PAS) Objective is to determine whether a companys import activities represent an acceptable risk to CBP through an assessment of the companys internal control over compliance with applicable CBP laws
and regulations Scope period typically includes the most recently completed fiscal year Subject matter scoped into audit areas (e.g., Value, Classification, FTAs, 9801, 9802, AD/CVD, etc.) 14 Notify the Importer Notify the Importer Contact the company Verify books & records locations and IOR numbers
Identify points of contact Explain FA process Request information that may be readily available such as: Flowcharts/Description of Customs activities Written policies and procedures Working trial balance or other financial information 16 Updates Engage the importer earlier in the audit
process to obtain certain information in order to better tailor our preliminary assessment of risk and questionnaire Eliminate the concept of a formal Advance Conference 17 Preliminary Assessment of Risk (PAR) Preliminary Assessment of Risk (PAR) Perform an initial assessment of the volume of activity and revenue
implications based on tariff number, entry type, special indicators, etc. Compare data about the auditees past import activity (e.g. three year trend analysis) to its current import activity to identify significant changes, trends, or anomalies Evaluate the significance of any import activity relating to CBPs Priority Trade Issues Evaluate current import activity for areas in which the auditee may have a history of noncompliance (i.e., prior disclosure, previous audit findings, penalty case, IS reviews, cargo exams, seizures, etc.) to assess the potential for continued noncompliance Evaluate the data for tariff numbers, MIDs, country of origin, etc. depending on particular requirements in the relevant criteria to determine whether there is a potential for significant noncompliance
19 Updates No longer will assess a level of risk (high, medium, low) at the PAR phase Increased emphasis on significance / materiality in determining audit areas to include (or exclude) from the scope Increased emphasis on the notion that audit areas included in the scope at the PAR phase may be subsequently eliminated Value and classification could potentially be eliminated as audit areas
20 Conduct Entrance Conference and Initiate Onsite Field Work Plan the Entrance Conference Establish the date for the entrance conference Send a confirmation letter with questionnaire, identified walkthrough entries, and list of requested documentation Review the responses to the questionnaire
and prepare for discussion with the importers personnel Conduct the Entrance Conference 22 Conduct Walkthroughs and Interviews Determine processes for: Purchase and receipt of foreign merchandise
Recording in inventory Payments to foreign vendor Declaring merchandise to Customs Be prepared to show: Where procedures are documented How control implementation is documented
What control procedures are used to assure accurate reporting to Customs Who is responsible for accurate reporting What information, records and electronic data are maintained 23 Updates Renaming the Internal Control Questionnaire (ICQ) to the Pre-Assessment Survey Questionnaire (PASQ) and expanding the standard questions
Selecting several entry line items for walkthroughs for each audit area based on the risks identified in the PAR to help identify variations in procedures used 24 Assess the Design and Implementation of Internal Control COSOs Internal Control Integrated Framework
Control Environment - Demonstrates commitment to integrity and ethical values - Exercises oversight responsibility - Establishes structure, authority and responsibility
- Demonstrates commitment to competence - Enforces accountability Risk Assessment Specifies suitable objectives Identifies and analyzes risk
Assesses fraud risk Identifies and analyzes significant change Control Activities Selects and develops control activities
Selects and develops general controls over technology Information Communication Uses relevant information Communicates internally Communicates externally
Monitoring Conducts ongoing and/or separate evaluations Evaluates and communicates deficiencies Deploys through policies and procedures
26 Internal Control Assessment Assess whether internal control is properly designed and implemented to provide reasonable assurance of compliance Documented, logical, reasonably complete, and likely to prevent or detect noncompliance Been placed into operation Develop an expectation about the operating effectiveness of internal control
Operating consistently and effectively preventing or detecting noncompliance Assess control risk accordingly 27 Factors to Consider Are there written policies and procedures? Are written policies and procedures approved by management and reviewed and updated periodically? Are written policies and procedures disseminated to employees?
Is there evidence of the execution of controls? Are controls periodically tested and results documented? If weakness are found, are corrective actions implemented? 28 Factors to Consider Is there adequate interdepartmental communication? Are there procedures to ensure pro forma invoices are reconciled to actual invoices and corrections are reported to CBP?
Are there procedures to link specific purchase orders, invoices, and payment records to CBP entry numbers? 29 Factors to Consider Are there procedures to ensure that additions to price actually paid or payable are included for packing, assists, proceeds, royalties, and selling commissions? Are there procedures to ensure that price actually paid or payable is accurately reported, including:
Indirect payments? Quota/visa? Price adjustments? Transportation costs? Currency exchange adjustments? All payments to seller?
30 Examine Accounting Records Examine the importers accounting records to identify potential cost elements affecting value by obtaining an understanding of: Nature of transactions with foreign vendors and the prices paid for items imported from them Whether there are price adjustments or any other payments that impact CBP value and the circumstances under which they are made How payments and other activities are accounted for
and which accounts are used to record transactions that are relevant to CBP value Whether/how transactions can be traced to entry level detail 31 Select Accounts of Interest Accounts typically selected for: Additional payments, whether direct or indirect, made to the seller not reflected on the invoice for the imported goods Payments relating to the statutory additions to the price paid or payable (e.g., packing costs, selling
commissions, royalty or license fees, proceed of subsequent resale, assists) Rebates, allowances, and other credits relating to purchases of imported goods Transactions will be selected from these accounts for detailed testing 32 Overall Assessment of Risk Overall Assessment of Risk Overall assessment is based on a combination
of inherent and control risk Low Material noncompliances unlikely Moderate Some material noncompliances possible High Material noncompliances likely Maximum Material noncompliances very likely Auditors design further audit procedures to respond to risk
Tests of Controls Compliance Testing 34 Updates Aligning our risk assessments with the audit risk model (Audit Risk = Inherent Risk x Control Risk x Detection Risk) Tailoring the audit approach to the risk assessment in terms of tests of controls v. compliance testing Emphasizing that lack of formally documented internal control and written policies and procedures alone is not an automatic indication that risk is unacceptable
Emphasizing the consideration of the size and complexity of the importer and its environment and the risk of material noncompliance Eliminating the Worksheets for Evaluating Internal Control (WEICs) 35 Further Audit Procedures Testing Methodologies Separate tests of controls for controls that dont occur at the transaction level and/or are periodic/sporadic
Judgmental sampling from the companys books and records for compliance and controls that occur at the transaction level Judgmental sampling of entries or entry lines for compliance and controls that occur at the transaction level Documents: Proof of payment, declaration documents, freight invoice/bill of lading, accounting books and records, commercial invoice, purchase order 37 Updates
Eliminating sample size matrices (1-20) and replacing with more general guidelines Population >= 250 = Test 25-40 Smaller sample sizes may be warranted (e.g., where risks are confined to specific circumstances) Larger sample sizes may be warranted (e.g., high degree of complexity or variability) Stop-and-Go statistical sampling may be used Population < 250 = Test about 10%
Smaller populations (e.g., controls performed on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis) = 2 to 10 occurrences 38 Risk Conclusions Risk Conclusions Consider the results of tests of the operating effectiveness of controls and compliance testing Draw risk conclusions for each audit area Express the risk conclusions as acceptable
risk or unacceptable risk 40 Acceptable Risk Material noncompliances were not identified Identified noncompliances were not systemic or material in nature Significant internal control deficiencies were not identified 41
Unacceptable Risk Material noncompliances were detected Repetitive immaterial noncompliances were detected Significant internal control deficiencies were identified. For example, controls were not: Suitably designed Being performed at an acceptable level to be effective 42
Unacceptable Risk CIP Request that the importer prepare a CIP Clearly convey to the importer their expectations regarding the CIP content and implementation to avoid misunderstandings Work with the importer to establish reasonable timeframes for developing and implementing the CIP 43 Unacceptable Risk More Testing
Consider the potential risk for material errors both in the scope period of the PAS and other time periods Plan to conduct further compliance testing to quantify loss of revenue Permit the importer to perform self-testing under CBP supervision Close the PAS and perform an ACT 44 Updates Reportable internal control deficiencies and
unacceptable risk conclusion linked to material noncompliance May report acceptable risk when noncompliances or internal control deficiencies are deemed not significant enough to be reported as a finding May report acceptable risk with a scope limitation when implementation of internal control cannot be verified by auditors but no material noncompliances are detected May report acceptable risk where there are unresolved matters that do not involve an internal control deficiency (e.g., difference in opinion awaiting results of internal advice or ruling) 45
Finalizing the Audit and Reporting Draft the report, including finding sheets (condition, criteria, cause, and effect) Provide draft Finding Sheets to importer and obtain formal written response which will be attached to the audit report Hold the exit conference Issue final audit report 46 Updates Limiting conclusion to the scope period of the
audit Including language expressing inherent limitations of internal control and cautioning projection of results to future periods Including language describing limited nature of procedures performed for IPR, FTZ, and NAFTA 47 FA to ISA Transition Program Importers with an acceptable risk conclusion will be given the opportunity to transition into the Importer Self-Assessment Program
Apply within 12 months of FA report date Must be a U.S. or Canadian resident importer Must be CTPAT member Develop a written risk-based self-testing plan Complete the ISA Memorandum of Understanding Qualified companies will not need to undergo the Application Review Meeting (ARM) 48 QUESTIONS?
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