U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Centers of Excellence and Expertise Becoming Fully Operational

WASHINGTON—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Centers of Excellence and Expertise (Centers) for Electronics; Petroleum, Natural Gas & Minerals; and Pharmaceuticals, Health & Chemicals will transition beyond the test phase and into a fully operational status beginning Jan. 28.

“The Centers for Excellence and Expertise are transforming the way CBP processes trade and works with the international trade community,” said R. Gil Kerlikowske. “All trade processing will now be performed under the authority of the respective industry center instead of at one of the hundreds of CBP ports of entry resulting in a more efficient process that will increase U.S. economic security.”

To assume all trade functions within their respective industry, the Centers will use an internal legal order to execute an incremental expansion in three phases over the next six months.  Each phase will consist of assuming trade functionality from key ports of entry while also bringing on the trade staff in a full time capacity at those locations to support the transition of work.

Expanding these Centers beyond the test program will allow CBP to fully implement the Centers by transitioning all post-release trade work within their respective industries.  These changes, beginning with the three Centers and in due course for the remaining seven, will have major positive impacts on trade and customs revenue functions by reducing costs to the trade, enhancing governmental efficiencies, and promoting uniformity of treatment.

The Center integrates management-by-account principles and allows CBP trade personnel to specialize in a key industry, building advanced knowledge in the intricacies of particular products and processes.  Transforming how CBP processes trade will provide for a more effective use of trade resources, reduction in transactional costs for the trade and CBP, increased uniformity methods at the industry level, and enhanced ability to identify high-risk commercial importations.

CBP has designated the following 10 Centers of Excellence and Expertise, each covering an entire industry spectrum and managed out of the corresponding CBP field office:

  • Agriculture & Prepared Products, Miami;
  • Apparel, Footwear & Textiles, San Francisco;
  • Automotive & Aerospace; Detroit;
  • Base Metals, Chicago;
  • Consumer Products & Mass Merchandising, Atlanta;
  • Electronics, Los Angeles;
  • Industrial & Manufacturing Materials, Buffalo;
  • Machinery, Laredo;
  • Petroleum, Natural Gas & Minerals, Houston; and
  • Pharmaceuticals, Health & Chemicals, New York.

For more information on the Centers, please visit cbp.gov.

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