CBP’S e-Allegations – How to Report Trade Violations in the Digital Age

April 2012 | At times, U.S. companies become aware of illegal import activities on the part of other businesses, but do not know how to inform the appropriate authorities.  U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Office of International Trade has developed an online trade violation reporting system – “e-Allegations” – to make it easier for all members of the public to report information on suspected trade violations.  Upon receipt of an e-Allegation, CBP will research the allegation and determine whether any action is required. 

The types of violations this reporting mechanism is intended to address include misclassification of merchandise, undervaluation, invalid country of origin markings, health and safety violations, intellectual property rights violations, textile or other trade violations.  (It is not intended for assertions of security issues such as weapons of mass destruction.)

To report a trade violation, the following information must be submitted:

  • Type of trade violation
  • Description of what has occurred
  • Products or goods involved
  • Alleged violator’s name and/or company
  • Any other available information also can be submitted

According to CBP, the person filing the report does not have to disclose his or her identity.  To submit a report, go to https://apps.cbp.gov/eallegations/.  We note that the reporting party may never learn whether or not CBP has chosen to take action in response to an e-Allegation, as CBP’s investigations and any ensuing enforcement efforts are not shared with the public.

Content provided by  Donna L. Shira and Kenneth R. Paley, at Sharretts, Paley, Carter & Blauvelt, P.C., International Trade Counsel for the Toy Industry Association.