WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) opened the Petroleum, Natural Gas and Minerals Center of Excellence and Expertise Sept. 17. The Center has begun centralized processing for all trusted partners in this industry, providing uniformity for trusted importers.
"The opening of the Petroleum, Natural Gas and Minerals Center coordinated from Houston brings CBP's total number of Centers to four. CBP expects to open five more of these industry Centers next year, at which time we'll have covered the full range of commodities," said Allen Gina, Assistant Commissioner, Office of Trade.
CBP's Centers offer one-stop processing to lower the Trade's cost of business, provide greater consistency and predictability and enhance CBP enforcement efforts. The Centers are coordinated from strategic locations, but are manned by CBP personnel across the country. The Centers represent CBP's expanded focus on "Trade in the 21st Century," transforming customs procedures to align with modern business. By having the Centers focus on industry-specific issues, CBP is able to provide tailored support to unique trading environments.
Center personnel answer questions, provide information and develop trade facilitation strategies to address uniformity and compliance concerns. They will also serve as a single point of processing for businesses enrolled in CBP's trusted shipper programs: the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) and Importer Self-Assessment (ISA).
CBP's new Center joins the Pharmaceutical Center in New York, the Electronic Center in Los Angeles and the Auto/Aerospace Center in Detroit. CBP expects to stand up several more Centers in 2013, with the goal of covering the entire Harmonized Tariff Schedule commodity range.
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.