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However, Ms. Wu did not attempt to verify or ascertain the correctness of the information prepared by the broker.Q.Did you discuss with the broker where he got the information from?A.I did not discuss it with him.Even though Ms. Wu did not attempt to verify the country of origin, she still signed and certified the accuracy of the information
contained in the entry documents. Ms. Wu’s reliance on the exporterand the broker does not remove the obligation to exercise reasonable care and competence to ensure that the statements made on the entry documents were correct.The court finds that Ms. Wu’s failure to attempt to verify the entry document information shows she did not act with reasonable care and did, therefore, attempt to negligently introduce merchandise into the commerce of the United States in violation of 19 U.S.C. §1592(a)(l)(A) and, therefore, must pay a civil penalty for her negligence pursuant to 19 U.S.C. §1592(c)(3)(B).With regard to the amount of the penalty, the court directs the parties to attempt to settle the matter by consultation guided by the court’s opinions in United States v. Complex Machines Works Co.,83 F. Supp. 2d 1307 (1999) and United States v. Modes, Inc.,826 F. Supp. 504 (1990) regarding mitigation.Decision.Wu did not exercise reasonable care because she failed to verify the information contained in the entry documents. Customscould assess a penalty that took into account the mitigating circumstances of the case. Once the government proved the false act occurred, the burden shifted to Ms. Wu to prove that she was not negligent.Case Questions1.What was Wu’s motivation in stating that the shirts were made in the Dominican Republic?2.What is the burden of proof? Must the United States prove that Wu was negligent or must Wu prove that she was not?3.Can the importer (Wu) rely on the statements of the third party (here, the shirt exporter) to avoid responsibility?
•Mitigating Factors:These include errors committed by Customs itself that contributed to the violation; erroneous advice from a Customs official; cooperation with the investigation; immediate remedial reaction (e.g., payment of the duty voluntarily and immediately, discharge, or retraining of an offending employee); inexperience in importing (except in fraud cases); or a prior good shipment record. In addition, Customs may consider the ability of the importer to pay the penalty.Enforced and Informed Compliance.Customs and Border Protection takes a two-pronged approach to enforcement of the customs laws: enforced complianceand informed compliance.Enforced compliance refers to the active investigation of customs violations and the prosecution of violators. Informed compliance refers to “softer” mechanisms designed to place the burden of voluntary compliance on importers. Compliance with the customs laws is much like compliance with the income tax laws. Unlessthe majority of U.S. importers, like taxpayers, voluntarily comply with the customs laws, enforcement will be impossible. Congress recognizedthis when it passed the Customs Modernization and Informed Compliance Act of 1993(called the Mod Act).It introduced the doctrineof informed compliance,which shifted to the importer a major responsibility to comply with all customs laws and regulations. It requires that importers, customs brokers, and carriers use reasonable care in complying with the law, in handling all import transactions, and in preparing all documentation for entered goods. Reasonable care means more than simply being careful. It means that those handling