Harold Hagans, president of Atlanta Customs Brokers, has alerted GlobalFax that the U.S. Customs Service will be reviewing the operations of small importers more closely than ever before.

      The government, he said citing recent announcements from Customs, aims to ensure that 95% of duties are properly paid, up from an estimated 80% in 1995.  Articles about the pending crackdown also have appeared in the trade press, he said.

      While the largest 20% of importers account for 80% of imports, companies such as Wal-mart Stores Inc., have been the first to feel the heat, but the next in line apparently are smaller companies.

      Mr. Hagans added that he received a visit last week from Atlanta customs officials who were inquiring how they might help in streamlining the import process.

      He cited Custom’s Web page at www.customs.ustreas.gov as a good source of information to help importers wade through many import classifications and assessment-team documents that they must have.

      His firm also provides import/export seminars.  For more information about the courses, call DeKalb College at  (404) 244-5050. Mr. Hagans may be reached at (404) 762-0953; fax, (404) 763-9628, or send an e-mail message to acbiff@mindspring.com