USCIB’s Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee had a busy month of August, undertaking a number of actions in support of our goals of reducing trade barriers and transaction costs arising from customs and border control practices, and promoting global convergence and modernization of customs practices. Here are some of the highlights.
USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson sent a letter to Dan Restrepo, senior director for Western Hemisphere affairs on the National Security Council, expressing USCIB’s support for the February 4, 2011, declaration made by President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on perimeter security and economic competitiveness between the United States and Canada. USCIB expressed support for the broader agenda of the Beyond the Border Working Group, but emphasized our support for the harmonization of the U.S. and Canadian trusted trader programs, the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) and Partners in Protection, through the creation of a mutual recognition agreement.
Also in August, Mr. Robinson wrote to CBP Acting Assistant Commissioner Charlie Stallworth voicing USCIB’s concerns regarding the ongoing work at the World Customs Organization (WCO) related to establishing pre-departure cutoff times in the SAFE Framework of Standards for advance information on air cargo. The WCO’s work came in response to a European Commission proposal to establish a four-hour prior to departure deadline for reporting advance information to customs authorities for air cargo shipments. Mr. Robinson urged that imposing such a requirement would undercut the express industry’s economic model, which is driven by just-in-time deliveries of critical and high-value shipments, and expressed concern over conflicting approaches to air cargo security being taken by different customs authorities.