Summary: H.R.1833 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to Senate with amendment(s) (07/20/1999)

Customs Authorization Act of 1999 - Title I: Authorization of Appropriations for United States Customs Service for Enhanced Inspection, Trade Facilitation, and Drug Interdiction - Amends the Customs Procedural Reform and Simplification Act of 1978 to authorize appropriations for FY 2000 and 2001 for the United States Customs Service for: (1) noncommercial and commercial operations; and (2) the air and marine interdiction program. Requires the Commissioner of Customs to submit to specified congressional committees an estimated budget for each fiscal year.

(Sec. 101) Establishes within the U.S. Customs Service an Automation Modernization Working Capital Fund to implement a program for modernizing the Customs Service computer systems. Authorizes appropriations. Directs: (1) the Commissioner of Customs to report annually to specified congressional committees regarding the progress made in modernizing the Customs Service computer systems; and (2) the Comptroller General to audit such report and provide the results to the Commissioner and specified congressional committees.

(Sec. 102) Earmarks amounts for: (1) the acquisition and deployment of narcotics detection equipment (including maintenance and support of such equipment, training of personnel, and new technologies, and for internal management improvements and textile transshipment enforcement) along the United States-Mexico border, the United States-Canada border, and Florida and Gulf Coast seaports; (2) additional inspectors, canine enforcement officers, special agents, and enhanced investigative resources during peak hours along such borders (including the Bahamas); (3) air and marine drug interdiction operation and maintenance; and (4) agent rotation and elimination of background investigation backlog.

(Sec. 106) Requires the Commissioner of Customs, as part of the annual program activity performance plan set forth in the Customs Service budget, to evaluate the benefits with respect to such border activities.

(Sec. 107) Directs the President to submit a plan for funding the acquisition and operation by the Customs Service of tethered aerostat radar systems currently operated by the Department of the Air Force and scheduled for replacement in FY 2001. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 108) Directs the Commissioner of Customs to report to specified congressional committees on the intelligence- and information-gathering capabilities and needs of the Customs Service, including recommendations for improving the agency's capabilities.

(Sec. 109) Authorizes appropriations for FY 2000 to carry out a program to prevent child pornography-child sexual exploitation established by the Child Cyber-Smuggling Center of the Customs Service. Earmarks a specified amount to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for the operation of the child pornography cyber tipline of the Center and for increased public awareness of the tipline.

Title II: Customs Management - Provides for the appointment of the Commissioner of Customs to a five year term. Requires the Commissioner to have demonstrated ability in management. Changes the basic pay rate of the Commissioner from level IV to level III of the Executive Schedule.

(Sec. 202) Directs the Commissioner of Customs to report to specified congressional committees with respect to: (1) the establishment, within the Office of Internal Affairs, of a program of internal compliance designed to enhance the performance of the mission of the Customs Service, including implementation of the Customs Modernization Act; (2) the review of current best practices in internal compliance programs among government agencies and private sector organizations; (3) the Commissioner's recommendations for modifying existing personnel rules to permit more effective management of Customs resources (personnel flexibility) and for improving the ability of the Customs Service to fulfill its mission; (4) the implementation of the personnel allocation model under development in the Customs Service; and (5) Customs Service requirements for counterdrug detection and monitoring of the arrival zones along the southern tier and northern U.S. border.

Title III: Marking Violations - Amends the Tariff Act of 1930 to revise the civil penalties for violations of country of origin marking requirements with respect to imported articles and containers to make a violator liable for not more than $10,000 for each violation (currently, $100,000 for first violation and $250,000 for second and subsequent violations).