U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Oct 04, 2023
(a) Limited or general power of attorney. A power of attorney may be executed for the transaction by an agent or attorney of a specified part or all the Customs business of the principal.
(c) Minor agents. A power of attorney to a minor shall not be accepted.
(d) Definitions of resident and nonresident. For the purposes of this subpart, “resident” means an individual who resides within, or a partnership one or more of whose partners reside within, the Customs territory of the United States or the Virgin Islands of the United States, or a corporation incorporated in any jurisdiction within the Customs territory of the United States or in the Virgin Islands of the United States. A “nonresident” means an individual, partnership, or corporation not meeting the definition of “resident.”
Customs Form 5291 may be used for giving power of attorney to transact Customs business. If a Customs power of attorney is not on a Customs Form 5291, it shall be either a general power of attorney with unlimited authority or a limited power of attorney as explicit in its terms and executed in the same manner as a Customs Form 5291. The following is an example of an acceptable general power of attorney with unlimited authority:
(Name, legal designation, and address)
Date ____________________, 19____;.
An individual (but not a partnership, association, or corporation) who is not a regular importer may appoint another individual as his unpaid agent for Customs purposes by executing a power of attorney applicable to a single noncommercial shipment by writing, printing, or stamping on the invoice, or on a separate paper attached thereto, the following statement:
Date __________________, 19____.
Powers of attorney issued by a partnership shall be limited to a period not to exceed 2 years from the date of execution. All other powers of attorney may be granted for an unlimited period.
Any power of attorney shall be subject to revocation at any time by written notice given to and received by CBP, either at the port of entry or electronically.
A power of attorney executed by a nonresident principal shall not be accepted unless the agent designated thereby is a resident and is authorized to accept service of process against such nonresident.
If a nonresident corporation has not qualified to conduct business under state law in the state in which Customs district the agent is empowered to perform the delegated authority, the power of attorney shall be supported by documentation establishing the authority of the grantor designated to execute the power of attorney on behalf of the corporation.
A power of attorney shall not be required if the person signing Customs documents on behalf of a resident corporation is known to CBP to be the president, vice president, treasurer, or secretary of the corporation. When a power of attorney is required for a resident corporation, it shall be executed by a person duly authorized to do so.
(a)(1) General. A power of attorney granted by a partnership shall state the names of all members of the partnership. One member of the partnership may execute a power of attorney in the name of the partnership for the transaction of all its Customs business.
(2) Limited partnership. A power of attorney granted by a limited partnership need only state the names of the general partners who have authority to bind the firm unless the partnership agreement provides otherwise. A copy of the partnership agreement must accompany the power of attorney. For this purpose, a partnership or limited partnership means any business association recognized as such under the laws of the state where the association is organized.
(b) Change in partners. When a new firm is formed by a change in membership, no power of attorney filed by the antecedent firm shall thereafter be recognized for any Customs purpose.
A trustee may execute a power of attorney for the transaction of Customs business incident to the trusteeship.
Powers of attorney to sign as surety on Customs bonds are subject to the requirements set forth in part 113 of this chapter.
Powers of attorney to file protests are subject to the requirements set forth in § 174.3 of this chapter.
(a) Resident principals. Except as otherwise provided for in paragraph (c) of this section, the holder of a power of attorney for a resident principal cannot appoint a subagent except for the purpose of filing Electronic Export Information (EEI). A subagent so appointed cannot delegate his power.
(b) Nonresident principals. Except as otherwise provided for in paragraph (c) of this section, an agent who has power of attorney for a nonresident principal may execute a power of attorney delegating authority to a subagent only if the original power of attorney contains express authority from the principal for the appointment of a subagent or subagents. Any subagent so appointed must be a resident authorized to accept service of process in accordance with § 141.36.
(c) Customhouse brokers. A power of attorney executed in favor of a licensed customhouse broker may specify that the power of attorney is granted to the broker to act through any of its licensed officers or authorized employees as provided in part 111 of this chapter.
Unless a power of attorney specifically authorizes the agent to act thereunder at the appropriate Center and at all CBP ports, the name of the appropriate Center or each port where the agent is authorized to act thereunder shall be stated in the power of attorney. The power of attorney shall be filed with CBP, either at the port of entry or electronically, in a sufficient number of copies for distribution to the appropriate Center and each port where the agent is to act, unless exempted from filing by § 141.46. The Center director or port director with whom a power of attorney is filed, irrespective of whether his Center or port is named, shall approve it, if it is in the correct form and the provisions of this subpart are complied with, and forward any copies intended for other ports or another Center as appropriate.
Upon request of a party in interest, a Center Director or port director having on file an original power of attorney document (which is not limited to transactions in a specific Customs location) will forward a certified copy of the document to another Center director or port director.
Before transacting Customs business in the name of his principal, a customhouse broker is required to obtain a valid power of attorney to do so. He is not required to file the power of attorney with CBP. Customhouse brokers shall retain powers of attorney with their books and papers, and make them available to representatives of the Department of the Treasury as provided in subpart C of part 111 of this chapter.