On October 25, 2011, United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) added regulatory provisions formally recognizing the use of sampling methods in CBP audits, and in importer disclosures. The final regulations do not materially change the proposed regulation issued around two years ago.
Statistical sampling is a practical and expeditious way to accurately assess large volumes of transactions. In statistical sampling a limited number of randomly-selected transactions are reviewed. The results from the sample are then extrapolated to the larger population. CBP sampling is acceptable only when the sampling plan and related estimation process is prepared in accordance with generally recognized sampling procedures.
The new regulations also clarify the acceptable use of offsetting overpayments and over-declarations during an audit.
The rules are effective December 27, 2011.