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Commissioner Kerlikowske’s Opening Remarks at the Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee (CCOAC)

Release Date: 
July 27, 2016

Remarks as Prepared for July 27, 2016

Thank you, Maria Luisa. I’d like to thank my co-chair, Tim Skud, and of course Vince Iacopella and Julie Parks for their leadership of CCOAC. I also want to welcome and recognize: Christa Brzozowski, DHS Deputy Assistant Secretary; and Daniel Ragsdale, Deputy Director, Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

From CBP, I want to recognize and congratulate Bill Ferrara, the new Director of Field Operations for the Boston Field Office. We also have several representatives from our Partner Government Agencies in attendance:

  • FDA – Douglas Stearn, Director, Office of Enforcement and Import Operations;
  • U.S. Census Bureau – Dale Kelly, Chief, International Trade Management Division;
  • APHIS – Cindy Walters, Management and Program Analyst, PPQ, Quarantine Policy and Analysis Staff, U.S. Department of Agriculture;
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife – Tamesha Woulard, Senior Wildlife Inspector; and
  • OMB - Samantha Silverberg

Since we last met in Washington in April, I know you’ve all been exceptionally busy. That April meeting generated 84 recommendations, and the subcommittees and working groups have been making significant headway.

The Trade Modernization Subcommittee and the Trade Facilitation Working Group have been developing best practices on broker regulations and for the Centers of Excellence and Expertise, all 10 of which are fully operational.

The Exports Subcommittee has been making headway on the air, ocean, and rail manifest pilots, along with identifying a path forward for Option 4/post-departure filing.

The Global Supply Chain Subcommittee’s CTPAT working group is developing and revising the C-TPAT minimum security criteria.

The Trusted Trader Subcommittee is finalizing a Strategy that lays out the future of an enhanced Trusted Trader Program, an effort that is much anticipated by industry.

And the One U.S. Government (1USG) Subcommittee continues to drive us toward implementation of the U.S. Single Window, and our efforts to expand the Single Window in North America.

Because of the tremendous leadership of CCOAC, on July 23RD ACE became the sole electronic system for processing cargo, replacing ACS and modernizing operations across the U.S. government.

I want to thank you for your efforts, particularly as we approach the President’s December 2016 goal for full implementation of the Single Window. And due in large part to your leadership, our work to expand Single Window compatibility across North America took a significant step forward, as the President carried that message to his meetings with his counterparts from Mexico and Canada at the North American Leaders Summit in June. 

The Trade Enforcement and Revenue Collection (TERC) Subcommittee continues to focus on some of the key enforcement provisions of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act (TFTEA), including IPR enforcement and AD/CVD evasion.

And as you know, enforcement of the nation’s trade laws is a core mission for CBP, and I want to announce the new Forced Labor Working Group focusing on this key enforcement priority.

Following the Custom’s Bill’s repeal of the “consumptive demand” loophole, we have been working with industry, civil society organizations, and others to rigorously enforce the law and prevent the import of goods made with forced, convict, or child labor into the United States.

In fact, CBP has recently issued several Withhold Release Orders, on products manufactured with prohibited forms of labor, including soda ash, rayon fiber, potassium products, and Stevia.

The role of industry in this issue is clear, and we must work closely with importers, brokers, and companies who want to do the right thing to clarify standards for their supply chains.

This Forced Labor Working Group will be invaluable in this effort, and will enable us to more effectively and fairly enforce this law.

Thank you all again for being here today, and thank you for all your work on this Advisory Committee. 

Last modified: 
January 4, 2022