CBP Facilitates Record Level of Travelers and Modernizes Trade Systems in FY2016
WASHINGTON—U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s dual mission of protecting the borders of the United States and facilitating legitimate trade and travel is not only a critical component of national security, but also of the nation’s economic prosperity. In fiscal year 2016, CBP processed more travelers than ever before at U.S. ports of entry and made significant gains in finishing the U.S. single window for businesses to electronically transmit the data required by the U.S. government to import and export cargo.
“The men and women of CBP work tirelessly to ensure our national security, protecting the American people from dangerous imports and people, and to keep the economy flowing as evident by CBP’s accomplishments in fiscal year 2016,” said Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske. “To handle the ever-growing amount of trade and travelers that need to be processed, CBP innovated the way we do business. We used technology to streamline our processes—increasing efficiency not only for our CBP officers, but for travelers, the trade community, businesses and our stakeholders as well.”
In support of the Administration’s National Travel and Tourism Strategy, CBP continues to transform the international arrivals process to attract and welcome visitors to the U.S. while maintaining the highest standards of security. CBP officers processed more than 390 million travelers at air, land, and sea ports of entry in FY2016, including more than 119 million travelers at air ports of entry. Over the last five years, international travel has grown 15 percent overall and 26 percent at airports. International travel at U.S. air ports of entry increased 6 percent from FY2015. Over the next five years, international travel is projected to increase at an annual rate of 4 percent.
Travel industry associations estimate that visitors spend on average $4,500 per visit to the U.S. which contributes to the travel exports surplus that is an engine of economic growth. To handle the growth in international travel, CBP has worked collaboratively with the travel industry to transform the international arrivals experience.
CBP continues to bring advances in technology and automation to ports of entry to streamline the entry process and enhance security. In FY2016, CBP:
- Deployed Mobile Passport Control at 15 additional airports, meeting CBP’s goal of making the program available at 20 airports before the end of 2016. Mobile Passport is the first authorized app to expedite a traveler’s arrival into the United States. More than 580,000 U.S. citizens and Canadian visitors used the app in FY2016 for their entry into the country.
- Expanded user eligibility for Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks to B1/B2 visa holders and foreign arriving aircrew at some locations. More than 55 million eligible travelers used APC kiosks to electronically submit their biographic information and answers to inspection-related questions to CBP in FY2016. APC kiosks were added at eight additional airports last year and are available for use at 42 international airports, including all major international airports in the United States and 9 Preclearance locations.
- Enrolled its 5 millionth Trusted Traveler. CBP Trusted Traveler Programs (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, and FAST) allow for expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. Global Entry, CBP’s largest program with more than 3.4 million members, membership eligibility was expanded to citizens of Colombia, Singapore, and the United Kingdom in FY2016.
- Precleared more than 19 million travelers, representing 16 percent of all commercial air travel to the United States, at one of CBP’s Preclearance locations in Canada, Ireland, the Caribbean, and the United Arab Emirates. Through Preclearance, travelers undergo CBP immigration, customs, and agriculture inspections before boarding a flight to the United States at a foreign airport rather than upon arrival in the U.S.
- Signed agreements recently with Sweden and the Dominican Republic to expand Preclearance operations to Stockholm Arlanda Airport and Punta Cana International Airport.
- Continued to prioritize expanding Preclearance to new airports. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson announced on November 4, 2016 that 11 new airports are being considered as possible expansion locations.
- Enhanced the I-94 website to allow travelers to apply and pay for their I-94 online prior to arriving at a land port of entry. Travelers can speed up their entry into the U.S. by providing their biographic and travel information, and paying the $6 fee for their I-94 application online up to seven days prior to their entry.
- Signed 16 new Reimbursable Services Agreements with private and public sector partners to provide increased or enhanced inspection services upon request. These services include customs, immigration and agriculture processing and border security at ports of entry. CBP provided nearly 106,000 additional processing hours at the request of our 36 partners in FY2016—accounting for the processing of more than 2.2 million travelers and nearly 305,000 personal and commercial vehicles.
- Approved three proposals worth approximately $30 million in planned port of entry improvements as part of the Donations Acceptance Program. As part of a proposal from Red Hook Terminals, CBP accepted the donation of a perforating machine for the Port of Freeport, which is already having a positive impact on document processing times. Proposals from the City of Pharr, Texas and the City of Donna, Texas were approved and are currently in the planning and design phase.
- Deployed facial comparison technology at Washington Dulles International Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport to assist CBP officers in verifying a traveler’s identity against the passport they presented.
- Conducted three tests to evaluate biometric technologies in multiple environments to further secure and facilitate legitimate travel. At the Otay Mesa port of entry, CBP tested the feasibility of using biometric technology to verify the identity of foreign visitors entering and departing the U.S. as pedestrians. CBP also tested the feasibility of using mobile devices to perform biometric queries on foreign travelers before departing the United States at 10 airports around the country. In Atlanta, CBP deployed a Departure Information System Test (DIST) to compare images of travelers taken during boarding to previously provided photographs to confirm their identity and record their departure from the United States. This test has provided the foundation for developing an integrated departure process in the future and CBP is now positioned to transition between short-term targeted biometrics tests to the long-term transformation of processes to meet the Congressional mandate for a biometric exit system.
CBP is the second largest revenue collecting source in the federal government and our operations have a significant impact on the security, as well as facilitation of legitimate international commerce and America’s economic competitiveness. CBP is responsible for enforcing nearly 500 U.S. trade laws and regulations on behalf of 47 federal agencies, facilitating compliant trade, collecting revenue, and protecting the U.S. economy and consumers from harmful imports and unfair trade practices.
The passage of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act (TFTEA) on February 24, 2016, was a milestone for CBP. It is the first comprehensive authorization of CBP since the creation of the Department of Homeland Security in 2003 and emphasizes CBP’s trade enforcement responsibilities in key areas, including the protection of intellectual property rights, antidumping/countervailing duty evasion, and forced labor-derived goods. TFTEA also supports CBP’s efforts to streamline and modernize processes through Business Transformation initiatives; to develop and implement the Centers of Excellence and Expertise; and to modernize drawback and simplify the process for duty refunds.
In FY2016 and in support of TFTEA, CBP:
- Processed $2.28 trillion in imports, equating to 32.6 million entries, and more than 27 million imported cargo containers at U.S. ports of entry, an increase of 3 percent from FY2015.
- Collected approximately $40.1 billion in duties, taxes, and other fees, including more than $35.2 billion in duties.
- Initiated 205 seizures of unsafe imported products with a gross Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $11 million as part of the Commercial Targeting and Analysis Center (CTAC). CTAC is comprised of 11 federal agencies working together to target commercial shipments that pose a threat to the health and safety of American consumers.
- Enforced Antidumping and Countervailing Duties (AD/CVD). In FY2016, $13.9 billion of imported goods were subject to AD/CVD. CBP collected $1.5 billion in AD/CVD deposits and levied 13 monetary penalties totaling over $30.6 million on importers for fraud, gross negligence, and negligence for AD/CVD violations. CBP and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) seized 16 shipments with a domestic value of more than $5.3 million for AD/CVD violations and CBP audits identified $14.7 million in AD/CVD discrepancies with $4.8 million collected to date.
- Issued 4 Withhold and Release orders on goods made with forced labor, resulting in 44 detained shipments valued at $8.75 million. The orders required at all ports of entry the detention of merchandise manufactured by a company that CBP had reasonable information on indicating the imported merchandise was made with forced labor.
- Implemented the Commercial Truck User Fee pilot program allowing commercial trucks to prepay the single-crossing user fee online prior to arrival at a port of entry. The pilot began in June 2016 at the Buffalo, Detroit and El Paso ports of entry and has since been expanded to all commercial ports of entry. The online payment option was used more than 4,000 times in FY2016, reducing transaction time by an estimated 30 seconds per transaction.
- Operationalized all 10 Centers of Excellence and Expertise which transform the way CBP approaches trade operations and works with the international trade community. The Centers increase uniformity of practices across ports of entry, facilitate the timely resolution of trade compliance issues nationwide and further strengthen critical agency knowledge on key industry practices.
- Completed significant ACE deployments and mandatory transitions for Cargo Release, Entry Summary and Export capabilities as well as Partner Government Agency (PGA) integration. ACE is the system that enables the Single Window, the primary processing system through which trade-related data required by all government agencies is submitted and processed and saved CBP an estimated $20 million in FY2016.
- Partnered with ICE to seize 31,560 shipments that violated intellectual property rights. If the seized products were genuine, the total MSRP of the items would have been more than $1.38 billion.