Power of Attorney (POA)A POA is a legal grant of authority from one person to another to act on their behalf. The grantor is referred to as the principal, and the grantee is referred to as the agent. The agent acts for the principal. Usually, the actions of the agent are attributed to the principal. This is why an importer is liable for mistakes that a customs broker might make in the execution of their duties as agent for the importer. A "Power of Attorney" or POA is required almost any time someone transacts "customs business" on behalf of a corporation. A POA is also required any time a third party transacts "customs business" on behalf of an individual or partnership. A POA may be either general, with unlimited authority, or limited, as explicitly defined by its terms. A general POA is also unlimited in duration. It is valid until revoked, unless it has language in it regarding a termination date. In order to file a customs entry and clear goods for entry, a customs broker must have a POA from the importer of record or the ultimate Consignee of the shipment. There are exceptions to this but this is the general rule. The importer of record is the purchaser or owner of the goods, or someone who has a similar interest in the goods. A POA is also required for someone to file a drawback entry or a protest.
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