CBP Announces Centers of Excellence and Expertise for Buffalo and 5 Other Ports
Last week, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Deputy Commissioner, David V. Aguilar, announced that the Port of Buffalo and 5 others ports will become CBP Centers of Excellence and Expertise (CEE). In Fiscal Year 2013, CBP will establish the CEE for Industrial & Manufacturing Materials in the Port of Buffalo. The other centers to be created are:
1. Agriculture & Prepared Products: Miami
2. Apparel, Footwear & Textiles: San Francisco
3. Base Metals: Chicago
4. Consumer Products & Mass Merchandising: Atlanta
5. Machinery: Laredo
CBP already operates CEEs for Electronics in Long Beach; Pharmaceuticals, Health & Chemicals in New York City; Automotive & Aerospace in Detroit; and Petroleum, Natural Gas & Minerals in Houston.
CEEs are virtual centers aimed at providing “one-stop processing” to lower the importers costs of doing business, provide greater consistency and predictability. Just as importantly, CEEs are designed to “enhance CBP enforcement efforts,” according to CBP’s press release.
Clearly, CEEs help provide a single point of contact for questions and concerns related to particular sectors, concentrating expertise and experience of CBP professionals to effectively facilitate trade. Greater expertise and facilitation is much welcomed, but CBP’s establishment of CEEs should also be a reminder for companies to review, update, and improve upon current importing practices and ensure that import compliance efforts are robust. In short, U.S. and non-U.S. resident importers should prepare to match the expertise of a CEE to avoid time-consuming and costly delays and potential penalties.