One of the world’s largest law enforcement agencies, Customs & Border Protection (CBP) manages the movement of goods and people into and out of the country by enforcing trade laws that ensure Americans are safe and secure.

ISA Program





The Challenges

Importers must navigate hundreds of CBP regulations that make importers responsible for entering, classifying, and valuing imported merchandise. They must also provide any other information necessary to enable CBP to properly assess duties, collect accurate statistics, and determine whether any other applicable legal requirement is met. Failure may lead to costly delays and penalties.

PTSI Helps You Meet CBP Rules

PTSI is here to help your business successfully meet CBP regulations so that your goods move as effortlessly as possible through the global supply chain. Whether you’re operating in an FTZ or not, we can help your business comply with regulations and file appropriate paperwork in a timely manner.

Our consulting services include:

  • Importer Self-Assessment (ISA) Program
  • C-TPAT participation
  • Protests
  • Prior Disclosures
  • Compliance

Importer Self-Assessment (ISA) Program

Importers who commit to self-monitoring their compliance can receive many benefits from the ISA Program. Developed by CBP, this program recognizes and supports importers who implement strong internal controls to achieve a high level of compliance.

ISA Program Requirements

  • Be a resident importer in the U.S. with a minimum of two years importing experience
  • Have the ability to connect to the Internet
  • Be a member of C-TPAT (see below)
  • Agree to comply with all applicable CBP laws and regulations
  • Maintain a system of business records that demonstrates the accuracy of CBP records
  • Complete an ISA questionnaire
  • Sign an ISA Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

PTSI Services

  • Assist with enrollment in the ISA Program
  • Review system of business records in order to assess the accuracy of CBP transactions
  • Assess controls and processes, and offer suggestions for enhancements and improvements

C-TPAT: Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism

Terrorists can exploit legitimate international trade cargo to smuggle weapons of mass destruction and other dangerous items. To combat this all-too-real threat, CBP introduced the C-TPAT program to build a partnership with American businesses that strengthens international supply chains and enhances border security. Businesses that join C-TPAT in turn are considered low-risk, which means CBP is therefore less likely to examine their goods at a U.S. port of entry.

How PTSI Can Help

  • Provide best practices and experience toward C-TPAT enrollment.
  • Post-enrollment, we review your compliance with program requirements, as well as the procedures you provided to CBP for your U.S. facilities.

Helpful CBP Links

PTSI Protest Services

Drawing on our extensive CBP experience, PTSI can help your business file Protests.


CBP can contest issues related to the following:

  • The appraised value of merchandise
  • The classification and rate and amount of duties chargeable
  • The exclusion of merchandise from entry or delivery
  • Demands for redelivery to customs custody
  • The liquidation or re-liquidation of an entry
  • The refusal to pay a claim for drawback

If you feel a decision made by CBP is in error, you can contest the decision by filing a Protest.

Our services include:

  • Preparing the appropriate documents.
  • Researching CBP rulings, regulations, and case law for support of the protest.
  • Requesting a refund of any overpaid duties.
  • Filing protests in a timely fashion.

What are Prior Disclosures?

A Prior Disclosure is a document your business can file to report noncompliance with CBP import laws and regulations before CBP discovers the problem. A timely Prior Disclosure reduces the penalties for noncompliance.

Prior Disclosures

Under section 484 of the Tariff Act, as amended (19 USC §1484), the importer of record is responsible for:

  • Entering, classifying and valuing imported merchandise
  • Providing any other information necessary to enable CBP to properly assess duties, collect accurate statistics, and determine whether applicable legal requirements are met


At times companies may find they’ve made false statements or omissions, or committed unlawful acts regarding their importations as a result of negligence, gross negligence or fraudulent conduct. The primary types of violations include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Improper application of preferential duties
  • Undeclared imported merchandise
  • Undervaluation
  • Overvaluation
  • Inaccurate description of merchandise
  • Antidumping/countervailing duty order evasion
  • Improper country of origin declarations or markings.

How PTSI Can Help

To minimize risk and exposure, importers should seek seasoned professionals like PTSI to closely review their processes to identify any sources of noncompliance and to prepare a valid Prior Disclosure.

Thanks to our extensive experience conducting compliance reviews and completing Prior Disclosures, we can provide significant insight and direction for your Prior Disclosure needs.

We have in-depth understanding of how various aspects of the import business interrelate, such as:

  • The nature of importing
  • Financial systems
  • The global supply chain
  • Inventory control
  • Business environment systems

Our knowledge can provide important insights into the completion and filing of your Prior Disclosure to reduce penalties and legal expenses.


Risk management and compliance activities are a critical aspect of any business, but they are vital to trade. Please see the Compliance Services section for more information about our full range of services.