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Office of Trade Relations

The Office of Trade Relations (OTR) is responsible for ensuring that accurate, timely, and consistent information is provided to the international trade community on CBP trade policy, as established by the agency. The Director of OTR is the designated regulatory fairness representative for the agency, with responsibility for promoting compliance with the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. The Director is also the Designated Federal Officer (DFO) for the Advisory Committee on Commercial Operations of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (COAC). As such, OTR is responsible for managing CBP's engagement with COAC and supporting the Commissioner in performing his duties as Co-Chair of the COAC.

OTR will determine the best, most effective and most efficient means of communicating policy matters to the trade community. OTR will either represent the Commissioner before trade forums or will determine the best representation from other organizational components given the nature of meeting, the agenda, and participants. The Office is responsible for the organizing and presenting formal CBP outreach efforts to the trade community, such as the annual Trade Symposium, including setting the agenda, determining the message to be conveyed, and identifying CBP participants. To ensure CBP speaks with one voice, office must coordinate outreach efforts to the trade community with OTR and will refer all requests for participation in such events to OTR.

OTR is the primary point of contact for the international trade community (importers, exporters, carriers, customhouse brokers, forwarders, bond providers, trade associations and financial institutions) for resolution of issues that could not be resolved at the local or by another Headquarters function. It will work with Headquarters and/or local management to learn the facts of the issue and resolve the issues if appropriate to do so. All CBP offices and employees will fully support this process by responding to OTR inquires in a timely, complete, and professional manner. The Office will raise issues to the Commissioner if resolution is not possible below that level.

For questions regarding importing, exporting or the status of your shipment, please contact the local service port. The ports are listed by each state and provide the contact information. Also, you may take advantage of CBP's Questions and Answers database to research your questions. (CBP's Questions and Answers) Please contact CBP INFO Center at (877) CBP-5511.