USCIB Members Engage With Customs Commissioner

Customs and Border Protection officials meet with USCIB.  From right: CBP Commissioner Alan Bersin, Assisant Commissioner for Trade Al Gina and Director of Trade Relations Maria Luisa O’Connell. (Photo: CBP)
Customs and Border Protection officials meet with USCIB. From right: CBP Commissioner Alan Bersin, Assisant Commissioner for Trade Al Gina and Director of Trade Relations Maria Luisa O’Connell. (Photo: CBP)

On March 15, USCIB members and staff met with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Alan Bersin and his senior staff as part of Commissioner Bersin’s Trade Day Agenda, to share USCIB’s priority recommendations for CBP.  USCIB was represented by Rob Mulligan, senior vice president for Washington, Cindy Duncan, senior vice president for Carnet operations, and Nasim Deylami, manager of customs and trade facilitation, plus member executives from Hanesbrands, Cisco, DHL Express, FedEx, Pfizer, the law firm of Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The group applauded Commissioner Bersin for his outreach to the business community, and took the opportunity to highlight areas in which CBP could further strengthen its relationship with U.S. business.  Among its key priorities, USCIB encouraged CBP to strengthen its trusted trade program, the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT), to focus its core benefits on the pre-trade and post-trade events of the supply chain, and to develop substantial commercial benefits for Tier 2 and Tier 3 C-TPAT participants.

USCIB provided Commissioner Bersin a provisional list of eighteen benefits envisioned for C-TPAT participants, which Commissioner Bersin welcomed, thanking USCIB for providing concrete goals for CBP to achieve. (This draft list will be finalized shortly.  USCIB members may click here to download the draft.)  During the discussion on benefits, USCIB also urged CBP to ensure that benefits of mutual recognition programs are realized by business as well as customs authorities.   Another key priority for USCIB is the implementation of a commercially acceptable air cargo security program, in which CBP and the Transportation Security Administration work together to support the creation of a security regime that simultaneously accounts for operational realities faced by importers and air carriers while protecting national security.

Commissioner Bersin pledged to study the air cargo security pilot programs currently underway to determine how they are impacting importers, and assured USCIB that CBP would work with TSA and business to implement a practical program.

The USCIB group also had the opportunity to thank CBP for positive steps the agency has taken toward increasing the current values for de minimis and informal entry shipments, and for the strong relationship CBP has maintained with ATA Carnet.  Ms. Duncan thanked CBP for its appreciation of ATA Carnet training conducted by USCIB.  She requested that CBP encourage the U.S. to accede to the WCO Istanbul Convention on Temporary Admission and take a leadership position on efforts to craft an eCarnet in the World Customs Organization or other forums.

Other issues discussed at the meeting included funding for the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) program, interdiction of counterfeit medicines and general enforcement of intellectual property rights.

Commissioner Bersin also took the opportunity to share his goal of achieving the enrollment of 2.5 million people in the Global Entry trusted traveler program in three years.  He encouraged USCIB to share this goal with its membership and promised to expedite the enrollment process for interested members.  USCIB has already taken action by inviting CBP to make a presentation on Global Entry at the USCIB/ICC Customs Committee Meeting on April 15 in Washington.

Staff contact: Kristin Isabelli

More on USCIB’s Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee

Staff Contact:   Megan Giblin

Director, Customs and Trade Facilitation
Tel: 202.371.9235

Megan Giblin manages USCIB’s work on customs policy, and provides support on trade and investment policy, handling issue management, policy development, and staff support for USCIB committees and working groups. Additionally, she serves as an International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) representative to the World Customs Organization’s Harmonized Systems Committee.
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