WASHINGTON - In an effort to inform a wide audience on the complexities of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) operations in the Virgin Islands (USVI), the San Juan Field Office delivered Monday an Outreach Event at the Ronald Regan Building in our Nation’s capital.
The event’s goal was to highlight the USVI’s unique environment and the authorities under which CBP operates in this part of the Caribbean.
"Our internal CBP stakeholders are not necessarily aware of the particularities of the US Virgin Islands," remarked Marcelino Borges, Director of Field Operations for Puerto Rico and the USVI. "Explaining how CBP operates in the USVI, statutory requirements, our history, and what challenges CBP faces in fulfilling its mission is essential to our future efforts to bring trade automation to the USVI."
Addressing the audience were DFO Marcelino Borges, along with Assistant Director Field Operations – Trade Edward Ryan, USVI Area Port Director Louis Harrigan and San Juan Assistant Chief Counsel Aida Orenstein, Attorney Kiry Tous and other members of the Field Office.
Among the topics that were covered in the outreach included USVI Customs Legislative History, USVI Customs Laws, USVI Unique Federal Provisions and the USVI Trade Automation Initiative.
The USVI outreach event coincided with the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the National Caribbean American Heritage Month and was coordinated in partnership with CBP’s Privacy and Diversity Office.
During the activity, participants enjoyed light refreshments of select Caribbean food items and listened to authentic Caribbean music by a Steel Drums Performer, who is a CBP Officer in USVI.
The activity celebrated the contributions of Caribbean Americans that have enriched the Nation and strengthened every aspect of our society, while also creating awareness of steps needed to create new opportunities for CBP’s trade mission in the USVI.
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.