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REGULATIONS REVISION INFORMATION
Upon completion of the general revision now in progress, the Customs Regulations will appear as Parts 100 through 199. Revised Parts should be placed in numerical sequence when issued. Pages will be numbered consecutively within each revised Part. For example, pages for New Part 123 are numbered CR-123.1 to CR-123.17, rather than in the consecutive sequence currently used for the Regulations.
Sec. 501, 65 Stat. 290 (5 U.S.C. 301,552,31 U.S.C. 483a). Additional authority and statutes interpreted or applied are cited in the text or following the section affected.
This part contains the regulations of the United States Customs Service im- TDs 70-134,73-310. plementing the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552), which set forth the procedures by which records may be obtained from Headquarters, United States Customs Service, Washington, D.C., and from offices of regional commissioners of Customs and district directors of Customs. The fees charged for furnishing such records are also prescribed in this part. The regulations govern inspection, copying, or otherwise obtaining copies of Customs opinions, orders made in the adjudication of cases, rulings, and records. This part also contains the general rules covering the release of certain information to the press and the giving of testimony or the production of Customs documents in Court. To the extent permitted by other laws, the United States Customs Service will make available records which it is authorized to withhold under 5 U.S.C. 552(b) and this part whenever it determines that such disclosure is in the public interest. Persons seeking information on records may find it useful to consult with the Public Information Division, United States Customs Service, Washington, D.C. 20229, or with public information officers in Customs field offices before invoking the formal procedures set out in this part. The Attorney General's Memorandum on the Public Information Section of the Administrative Procedure Act, which was published in June 1967, is available from the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.
103.1 Public reference facilities.
Each office listed below will maintain a public reading room or public reading TDs 73–310, 76–120, area where the material required to be made available under 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(2) 76–146. and this part may be inspected and copied:
The Reading Rooms are open to the public during regular business hours unless other hours are posted, Monday through Friday of each week, exclusive of national holidays. A fee for copies of requested material will be charged in accordance with section 103.9.
103.2 Requests for identifiable records and copies.
(a) To whom requests for records should be addressed. Requests to inspect or copy records of the United States Customs Service including those not customarily made available and which are not available in a public reading room (see section 103.1), shall be addressed to the local regional commissioner or district director of Customs, if the records are located in his office, or to Headquarters, United States Customs Service, Washington, D.C. 20229, to the attention of the Director, Classification and Value Division, Office of Regulations and Rulings.
(b) Request should be in writing and for identifiable records. A request to inspect or copy records should be submitted in writing and should sufficiently identify the records requested to enable Customs personnel to locate them with a reasonable amount of effort. Where possible, specific information regarding dates, titles, file designations, and other information which may help identify the records should be supplied by the requester. If the request relates to a matter in pending litigation, the court and its location should be identified.
(c) Standard forms not necessary. Standard forms are not necessary for making requests. Any written request is acceptable if it identifies a record sufficiently to enable it to be located with a reasonable amount of effort.
(d) Requests for records falling within a specific category.--(1) Must meet identifiable records requirement. A request for all records falling within a reasonably specific category shall be regarded as conforming to the statutory requirement that records be identifiable if it can reasonably be determined which particular records come within the request, and the records can be searched for and collected without unduly burdening or interfering with Customs operations because of the staff time consumed or the resultant disruption of files.
(2) Assistance in reformulating nonconforming requests. If it is determined that a categorical request would unduly burden or interfere with Customs operations under subparagraph (1) of this paragraph, the response denying the request on those grounds shall specify the reasons why and the extent to which compliance would burden or interfere with Customs operations. An opportunity shall be extended to the requester to confer with knowledgeable Customs personnel in an attempt to reduce the request to manageable proportions by reformulation and by agreeing on an orderly procedure for the production of the records. (e) Requests for records of other agencies. Where it is determined that the question of the availability of requested records is primarily the responsiblity of another agency, the request will be referred to the other agency for processing in accordance with its regulations, and the person submitting the request will be so notified.
(f) Authority of Customs field officers. A regional commissioner or district director of Customs to whom a request is made for permission to inspect or copy a record may grant the request if the record is of a type enumerated in section 103.7 or section 103.8, or if precedents from headquarters authorize the granting of the request. A regional commissioner or district director may deny a request to inspect or copy a Customs record if the case is clearly covered by a previous decision made by the Commissioner of Customs or the Assistant Commissioner, Office of Regulations and Rulings, but any case not so covered shall be sent to headquarters for a decision. A deletion is, in effect, a denial of information, and shall be made only if consistent with paragraph (b) of section 103.4, or if the case is clearly covered by a previous decision made by the Commissioner of Customs.
(g) Requests from foreign governments. Each request from a foreign government will be forwarded to headquarters for a decision.
103.3 Replies to requests.
(a) Replies or acknowledgments. Requests for sufficiently identified records shall be complied with or denied, or their receipt acknowledged, as soon as practicable after their receipt by a regional commissioner or district director of Customs. Requests for sufficiently identified records addressed to Headquarters, United Customs Service, shall be complied with or acknowledged by