October 21, 2011. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced today the establishment of two industry-specific centers: the Center of Excellence and Expertise – Electronics in Los Angeles and the Center of Excellence and Expertise – Pharmaceuticals in New York. The centers, which previously functioned as pilot programs, will continue efforts to increase uniformity of practices across ports of entry, facilitate the timely resolution of trade compliance issues nationwide, and further strengthen critical agency knowledge on key industry practices. “The Centers of Excellence and Expertise will fundamentally transform the way CBP approaches trade operations and works with the international trade community,” said CBP Commissioner Alan D. Bersin. “They will also help facilitate legitimate trade while enabling us to concentrate our enforcement efforts on potential threats to our nation’s security and economic competitiveness.” Initially, the centers will serve as a single point of processing for businesses enrolled in CBP’s trusted shipper programs, the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) and the Importer Self-Assessment (ISA). The centers will also serve as a resource to the broader trade community and to CBP’s U.S. government partners; center personnel will answer questions, provide information and develop trade facilitation strategies to address uniformity and compliance concerns. Required import documents for trusted partners within the electronics and pharmaceutical industries are now being routed to their respective industry center. While revenue collection will continue to be carried out at the ports of entry, the centers will begin to perform all validation activities, protests, post entry amendment/post summary correction reviews, and prior disclosure validations for the trusted partners within their industry.
By redirecting work involving trusted shippers within the electronics and pharmaceutical industries to centralized, industry-specific locations, ports of entry will be able to more effectively focus resources on high-risk shipments and importers that may pose a danger to U.S. border security, harm the health and safety of consumers, or violate U.S. trade laws and intellectual property rights critical to our nation’s economic competitiveness. In turn, the approach to trade processing facilitated by the new centers will reduce transaction costs for the trade community, facilitate legitimate trade through risk segmentation, increase agency expertise and deliver greater transparency and uniformity of action within a given industry.
More information on the pilots and CBP’s C-TPAT and ISA trusted shipper programs can be found on cbp.gov at the following links:
About U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”): CBP is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation’s borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.
The Law Offices of Rose H. Robbins assists companies in the import/export business when they run into problems of compliance with OFAC. Please contact us by submitting the form below to set up a free consultation.