Changes in the Responsibilities of the U.S. Customs Service's National Import Specialists

GGD-84-101: Published: Sep 25, 1984. Publicly Released: Oct 25, 1984.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO obtained information on recent changes in the responsibilities of the U.S. Customs Service's national import specialists.

GAO found that the primary responsibility of Customs' national import specialists is to provide guidance to its district office specialists to ensure the uniformity of tariff classifications, assigned unit values, and product admissibility requirements. National specialists had also been responsible for processing one area office's import entries. However, Customs concluded from several studies that the national specialists' effectiveness was being reduced because of the dual responsibility and, in April 1984, they were transferred to another operating division and relieved of their responsibility for processing import entries. GAO found that the reorganization resulted in an increase of 8 import specialist positions and a decrease of 42 customs aide positions. GAO was unable to determine the effectiveness of the reorganization because of the short time that it had been in effect.

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