CBP Forms a New Office to Manage Trade Policy

Oct. 4, 2006
The office will consolidate CBP trade policy, program development and compliance measurement functions in a single entity. Before creation of the new

The office will consolidate CBP trade policy, program development and compliance measurement functions in a single entity. Before creation of the new office, functions were split among three offices within CBP: the Office of Strategic Trade; the Office of Regulations and Rulings; and the Office of Field Operations.

According to CBP, the Office of Trade will handle these operations “without creating dual reporting mechanisms or overlapping, redundant management structures that would disrupt the closely interrelated activities of CBP officers and operators processing arriving cargo at U.S. ports of entry.”

Here, according to CBP are Office of Trade responsibilities:

• Providing national strategic direction to facilitate legitimate trade while protecting the American economy from unfair trade practices.

• Directing national enforcement responses through effective targeting of goods crossing the border as well as strict, swift punitive actions against companies participating in predatory trade practices.

• Coordinating with international partners to ensure effective enforcement of textile admissibility issues as well as the enforcement of free trade agreement eligibility.

• Cooperating with other U.S. agencies and like-minded foreign governments to achieve effective enforcement of intellectual property rights.

• Maintaining effective internal controls over the revenue process.

• Coordinating with other government agencies and international partners to identify risks to detect and prevent contaminated agricultural or food products from harming the American public or the nation’s economy.

• Promoting trade facilitation and partnership with the importing community and trade associations by streamlining the flow of legitimate shipments and fostering corporate self-governance as a means of achieving compliance with trade laws and regulations.

• Managing a risk-based audit program to respond to allegations of commercial fraud and to conduct corporate reviews of internal controls to ensure importers comply with trade laws and regulations.

• Providing legal tools to promote facilitation and compliance with customs, trade and border security requirements through: the issuance of all CBP regulations, legally binding rulings and decisions, informed compliance publications and structured programs for external CBP training and outreach on international trade laws and CBP regulations.

CBP Commissioner Ralph Basham, notes that, “ This is a significant event in the evolution of Customs and Border Protection, which has always had the twin goals of preventing terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering our country, while, at the same time, facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel. The newly constituted Office of Trade will further reinforce our commitment to the trade component of these goals.”

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