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U.S. Customs and Border Protection Reaches New Industries with Centers of Excellence and Expertise

Release Date: 
April 18, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announces today the opening of three new Centers of Excellence and Expertise (CEE) - Base Metals in Chicago; Industrial & Manufacturing Materials in Buffalo, N.Y., and Machinery in Laredo, Texas. The virtual centers are the product of extensive collaboration between industry stakeholders and CBP. CBP is currently accepting applications from importers to participate in the new Centers.

"The Centers of Excellence and Expertise provide tailored support to our industry partners," said Acting Commissioner Thomas S. Winkowski. "This account based approach provides the opportunity to lower transaction cost for industry while simultaneously enhancing CBP's enforcement efforts."

The Centers represent CBP's expanded focus on "Trade in the 21st Century," transforming customs procedures to align with modern business practices. Offering centralized processing for trade matters, the Centers provide greater consistency and predictability to industry. The Centers are coordinated from strategic locations, however personnel from across the country answer questions, provide information and develop trade facilitation strategies to address uniformity and compliance concerns.

CBP plans to open three more Centers in FY 2013: Agriculture & Prepared Products in Miami, Apparel, Footwear & Textiles in San Francisco, and Consumer Products & Mass Merchandising in Atlanta. CBP will have a total of ten Centers by the end of the fiscal year, covering the full range of imported commodities.

The CEEs will bring all of CBP's trade expertise to bear on a single industry in a strategic location. They will be staffed with numerous trade positions using account management principles that are able to authoritatively facilitate trade issues. The CEEs will also serve as resources to the broader trade community and to CBP's U.S. government partners.

These virtual centers provide one-stop processing to lower the trade's cost of business, provide greater consistency and predictability and enhance CBP enforcement efforts. The CEEs will also serve as resources to the broader trade community and to CBP's U.S. government partners.

Apply to participate through the Federal Register Notice.