SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers are often required to examine and hold merchandise on behalf of other government agencies that have the regulatory authority to determine the admissibility of these products.
In an effort to better protect our country and combat unsafe imports, the San Juan Field Office recently held an “Import Safety Boot Camp”, a unique program to strengthen CBP’s import safety mission.
The program brought together a consortium of the most pivotal Partner Government Agencies (PGAs) on the topic of import safety to create an intensive training experience for Trade employees of the San Juan Field Office, with sessions in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico and in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands.
“What we are trying to build here is togetherness; oneness of purpose; to become One U.S. Government at the Border,” said Edward Ryan, Assistant Director for Trade at the San Juan Field Office. “This Import Safety Boot Camp strives to foster a better understanding of the PGAs and knit them closer to our CBP employees.”
Subject matter experts from Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) and the Bureau of Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade (TTB) presented to participants an overview of their agency’s mission, regulatory authority, product scope, admissibility confirmation process, sampling, testing and enforcement process.
Nearly one hundred CBP Officers, Agriculture Specialists, Entry Specialists and Import Specialists from Puerto Rico and the USVI received the training over a 3 day period.
“From the Import Safety Boot Camp CBP expects to see increased awareness in the products it inspects, and more unsafe items seized,” said Ryan. “But, only through a continued commitment to a collaborative approach will we truly accomplish our Import Safety objectives and become One U.S. Government at the Border”.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.