CBP's Machinery CEE Opens in Laredo
LAREDO, TEXAS—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Director of Field Operations Eugenio Garza Jr. and Assistant Director of Field Operations, Trade Nancy Becker announced today the opening of the Machinery Center of Excellence and Expertise (CEE) in Laredo with a backdrop of forklifts and trucks queuing on the Word Trade Bridge in the distance.
"The Machinery CEE will truly transform the way we do business, enhance facilitation of lawful trade and foster bi-directional education between CBP and the machinery industry," said Becker, who also serves as the Machinery CEE Director. "We strive to provide consistency and uniformity to the processing of machinery imports at the nation's 329 ports of entry while providing one-stop shopping and accessibility to our trade stakeholders."
Garza and Becker gathered to make the announcement at Word Trade Bridge's "Inspiration Point" overlook together with several key elected federal, state and local officials as well as trade stakeholders. Speakers at the event also included: U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, Raul Salinas, Mayor, City of Laredo, Victor Gonzalez, President, Laredo Licensed U.S. Custom Brokers Association and Juan de Jesus Barajas, President of the Association of Laredo Forwarding Agents and representative of the Presidente, Asociación de Agentes Aduanales de Nuevo Laredo.
The Machinery CEE is housed at the Shiloh Tower office building at 109 Shiloh Dr., Ste. 300, Laredo, TX 78045 and includes local CBP employees as well as virtual CBP employees across the nation. The Machinery CEE officially opened on April 15, 2013. Interested parties may contact the Machinery CEE at 956-753-1690 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Laredo was chosen as the site for the Machinery CEE since it is the top port by volume for machinery imports in the U.S. Laredo is the largest inland port in the U.S., processing nearly $93 billion in imports, $168 million in duties collected and 1.5 million entries processed in FY 2012.
On a national level, the total value of machinery imports exceeds $219 billion and the amount of duties collected on those imports is approximately $2.2 billion. There are currently more than 98,000 importers of machinery. In addition, Texas is the second-largest state for the number of machinery importers.
The Machinery CEE is one of six centers that are opening in FY 2013:
- Agriculture & Prepared Products: Miami
- Apparel, Footwear & Textiles: San Francisco
- Base Metals: Chicago
- Consumer Products & Mass Merchandising: Atlanta
- Industrial & Manufacturing Materials: Buffalo
- Machinery: Laredo
These virtual centers will provide one-stop processing to lower the Trade's cost of business, provide greater consistency and predictability and enhance CBP enforcement efforts. The Centers represent CBP's expanded focus on "Trade in the 21st Century," transforming customs procedures to align with modern business. The CEEs will also serve as resources to the broader trade community and to CBP's U.S. government partners.
In addition, as per a recent Federal Register notice, the Machinery CEE is seeking applications from companies involved in the importation of machinery to participate in a test to determine how the Machinery CEE, as well as the five other newly announced CEEs, will function with broad decision making authority. For more information on participating in the CEE test, interested parties may send an email with a 'Participating in CEE' subject line identifier to CEE@cbp.dhs.gov
Those companies who already participate in trusted shipper programs such as the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) and Importer Self-Assessment (ISA) are not only eligible but encouraged to participate in the test and have their accounts managed by the Machinery CEE, Becker said.