WASHINGTON— U.S. Customs and Border Protection today announced the addition of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to the Commercial Targeting and Analysis Center (CTAC) in Washington, D.C. FDA, FWS and NMFS are partnering with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and seven other participating federal agencies, to enhance targeting efforts on commercial imports posing a threat to the health and safety of the American public or other border management goals such as conservation of species. The agreement was finalized on March 15.
“Working side-by-side fosters a collaborative environment that is conducive to increased information sharing and enhanced relationships between key agency personnel,” said Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske. “The interagency collaboration taking place at CTAC exemplifies how working together as one U.S. Government at the Border serves to protect the American public.”
“Responding to the very real challenges of globalization as supply chains become more complex is a top priority for the FDA,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. “Partnering with U.S. Customs and Border Protection is an important mechanism that helps to identify shipments of food and medical products at our border that may pose a threat to the health of the American public. It also provides the opportunity to collaborate with other federal agencies in a novel information-sharing environment to ensure consumers that the products they use are safe, effective and of the highest quality.”
Bruce Buckson, Director of NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement, noted that he “is looking forward to working hand-in-hand with CTAC and these other federal agencies. The expertise and resources offered through this group will enhance our enforcement capabilities and increase compliance with current NMFS regulations resulting in a level playing field for honest, hardworking fishermen."
“Broadening the scope of CTAC to encompass illegal wildlife trade and other management issues helps support the Nation’s high-priority fight against wildlife trafficking,” said FWS Director Dan Ashe. “Participating in the CTAC will give our law enforcement officers access to new intelligence and increased opportunities to partner with Customs and other Federal counterparts in keeping our borders closed to illegal products of all types.”
The addition of FDA, FWS and NMFS greatly augments CTAC’s level of expertise in high-risk food, drug and wildlife imports and brings the total number of agencies participating at the center to 11. At the CTAC, the 11 agencies are physically co-located to leverage their collective resources, expertise and authorities in the development of innovative targeting procedures. All partner agencies are also granted access to critical import data which allows for quicker and more informed decision-making.
Get additional information on CTAC and import safety and border management.