(World Trade Interactive/STR)
At the annual WESCCON conference in San Diego Oct. 23, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Alan Bersin gave a major policy speech outlining his vision for the future of CBP and its relationship with the trade community.
Reassessing Trade Processes
Bersin said CBP is in the early phases of developing several concepts that would improve trade processing.
• risk-based account management, which would seek to raise compliance by focusing on areas of risk rather than volume and by expediting trade with trusted partners through improved targeting and risk segmentation
• simplified entry and financial processes that would expedite legitimate trade, provide for earlier release decisions and streamline the submission of information and payments
• establishing centers of expertise and excellence, a virtual concentration of CBP personnel who would leverage expertise and provide uniform guidance
• finding ways to leverage the investment made in the Automated Commercial Environment to ensure that it fully supports account management efforts
“Whatever form these initiatives ultimately take,” Bersin stated, “they signal a fundamental transformation of our relationship with the private sector” into one that “significantly enhances supply chain security, improves enforcement of trade laws, and expedites legitimate commerce.”
Bersin reassured customs brokers that “the changes CBP is proposing will certainly not be the demise” of their industry. Instead, these changes will help brokers help their clients do business more efficiently. For example, brokers will be “critical” to making account management work, especially for small and medium-sized businesses. “With management by account, instead of managing shipment by shipment, we will be managing the larger final transaction,” Bersin said. “Customs will still have to determine the admissibility of shipments, but the overall process will be simpler and more efficient.” CBP also hopes that brokers will serve as the agency’s “boots on the ground” in efforts to intercept counterfeit goods and ensure import safety. “We can’t do our job without you,” Bersin said, “and I am committed to rebuilding our bonds of trust with you.”
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