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Attention U.S. Customers

John Blake & Son's Ltd. has received preliminary information that U.S. Customs intends to eliminate the IRS number lookup function as soon as August 1, 2003. Previously the lookup function, known as IJ lookup, enabled brokers to obtain release by utilizing a systems generated encrypted number, supplied by Customs when IRS information was not available at time of arrival at the U.S. border.

Sources state the change in Customs policy is the result of security concerns and will enable the Customs and Border Protection Bureau to identify the U.S. buyer of imported merchandise upon entry into the United States.

To avoid delay at the border

Import documents must contain the IRS number of the buyer/consignee

We expect a written "policy" statement from Customs to be be published in the near future to help clarify the requirements. It appears that once the lookup function has been disabled, shipments that arrive at the border without the consignee ID information will likely be refused admission until such time as the information is provided. The consignee/buyer information can be the IRS number, the Federal ID number, or Social Security Number, if shipped to an individual or sole proprietorship.

We recommend that U.S. customers be advised of the the pending changes to the Customs requirements and include the necessary ID information in order to avoid future delays in the shipment of your order. A space has been made available on the included order form under the shipping address section.

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This page last updated 2008/07/15