Shipment Damages that
Occur During U.S. Customs Inspections
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) pays for damage to
property when the damage was caused by the wrongful or negligent act of any
employee while acting within the scope of his or her employment. However, the
CBP acknowledges in its guidance that cargo is sometimes damaged during the
normal course of inspection, in order to ensure that goods are not being
smuggled in, and that various safety and other requirements for imported goods
are being met. Damages will not be covered if this is the case.
The determination as to who is responsible for the damage and
whether it is eligible for a claims payment is solely within the discretion of
the port direction, in consultation with CBP.
This is the flaw, in our opinion, in the process at the
moment. There is no independent, objective entity to which a shipper can appeal
for payments for damages during the inspection process. However, there can be
no chance to even apply for damage payments unless the following steps are
Procedural Steps for Claim Submission:
1. Shipper must complete the Form entitled “Claim for Damage, Injury or
[Please Note that AIR 7 SEAS is not able to file a claim on your behalf.]
2. Send the completed form, along with documentation to support the claim of a
wrongful or negligent act on the part of a CBP employee to the Port Director
where the damage took place.
3. If you need contact or address information for a particular port, please use
the following link -
http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/toolbox/contacts/ports/. This link will
enable you to find the appropriate contact information for the port to which you
must send the completed form.
4. AIR 7 SEAS would like to request that we be copied on any communications
with the CBP regarding your claim, so where possible, we may assist in your