CBP, since 2019 has taken to VOIDING Importer or Record tax (EIN – Employer Identification Numbers) numbers that are infrequently used on import entries.  This means that if you are an infrequent importer (once every 2 years or more) you will probably at some point in time have CBP VOID your tax number in their computer system (ACE).  Their void does not remove your number from the Internal Revenue Service records, only from the records of CBP (Customs & Border Protection Services).

Previously CBP only VOIDED numbers for the the following reasons (listed below), but have recently taken it upon themselves to just VOID numbers that are NOT used very often.  Here is the link for the instructions on VOIDED Importer of Record numbers (their FAQ page) – https://www.cbp.gov/trade/priority-issues/revenue/bonds/voided-importer-record-faqs

Commonly CBP reports that they VOID Numbers for these reasons:

Importer records may be voided for the following reasons:

  • Duplicate records are on file with CBP
  • The importer’s Social Security number or Employer Identification number cannot be verified with the appropriate government agency (Social Security Administration or Internal Revenue Service respectively)
  • The importer, their authorized agent (with a valid Power-of-Attorney), or local CBP Officer has requested that the record be voided
  • CBP has received returned (undeliverable) mail when attempting to contact the importer via the US Postal Service
  • Failure to respond to CBP requests sent to the name and address listed on the importer record

As you can see, infrequent importer is not on the list.

Here are the instructions on how to overcome this horrible inconvenience, but honestly, my first recommendation is that you call your Senator/Congressman or Representative and complain to them.  CBP Regulations do not allow CBP to just VOID numbers when they want to, but to get around this CBP issued a Customs Message stating their new position is to VOID infrequent used importer numbers, which means that the same small companies will be inconvenienced time and time again.

Here are the instructions to reinstate your VOIDED IMPORTER NUMBER:

Email a completed CBP 5106 along with a valid importer record proof and Power-of-Attorney that is no more than one year old (if 5106 is signed by an Attorney-in-Fact) to bondquestions@cbp.dhs.gov. The subject line should state “Void IR#”.

**NOTE: CBP Form 5106 must be signed by an officer of the company (President, VP, Secretary, Treasurer, CEO, COO, etc.) or a broker with power-of-attorney (POA).**

Relative to the type of importer record number, the following documents are acceptable proof:

Social Security Number – A copy of the importer’s Social Security card (front & back). Or submit a copy of the front page of the importer’s most recent tax return.

Employee Identification Number (EIN) – Pre-printed documentation received from the U.S. Department of Treasury, i.e. Internal Revenue Service (IRS), within the last 12 months that reflects the proper EIN and company name. Examples of IRS tax documentation include the following: 147C, 1040, 2363, 941/941V, SS-4, 1065, 8109/8109C, 7004, 355-ES, 1096, 1120/1120S, etc. You can call 1-800-829-0115 in order to obtain EIN verification (form 147C) if necessary. THE ABOVE DOCUMENTS MUST BE RECEIVED FROM THE IRS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY.

Note: W-9 applications, SS-4applications, State documents, and any documentation submitted to the IRS are unacceptable.

U.S. CBP Assigned Number – There is currently no documentation provided by CBP when issuing a CBP-assigned number. Only a completed CBP 5106 form and POA if signing on behalf of an importer, are required.


I hope this information helps you if and when you need to get your Importer Tax Number reinstated / Steve Sanders – Sanders Brokerage Services


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