CBP's Machinery CEE Opens in Laredo
LAREDO, TEXAS—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Director of Field Operations Eugenio Garza Jr. and Assistant Director of Field Operations, Trade Nancy Becker on April 29 announced the opening of the Machinery Center of Excellence and Expertise (CEE) in Laredo with a backdrop of a forklift, CBP non-intrusive imaging systems, CBP flags flying and trucks queuing on the World Trade Bridge in the distance.
"The Machinery CEE will truly transform the way we do business, enhance facilitation of lawful trade and foster bi-directional education between CBP and the machinery industry," said Becker, who also serves as the Machinery CEE Director. "We strive to provide consistency and uniformity to the processing of machinery imports at the nation's 329 ports of entry while providing one-stop processing and accessibility to our trade stakeholders."
Garza and event emcee Becker gathered to make the announcement at Word Trade Bridge's "Inspiration Point" overlook together with several key elected federal, state and local officials as well as trade stakeholders. Guest speakers at the event also included: U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, Raul Salinas, Mayor, City of Laredo, Victor Gonzalez, President, Laredo Licensed U.S. Custom Brokers Association and Juan de Jesus Barajas, President of the Association of Laredo Forwarding Agents and representative of the Presidente, Asociación de Agentes Aduanales de Nuevo Laredo.
The Machinery CEE is housed at the Shiloh Tower office building at 109 Shiloh Dr., Ste. 300, Laredo, TX 78045 and includes local CBP employees as well as virtual CBP employees across the nation. The Machinery CEE officially opened on April 15, 2013. Interested parties may contact the Machinery CEE at (956) 753-1690 or via email at email@example.com.
Laredo was chosen as the site for the Machinery CEE since it is the top port by volume for machinery imports in the U.S. Laredo is the largest inland port in the U.S., processing nearly $93 billion in imports, $168 million in duties collected and 1.5 million entries processed in FY 2012.
On a national level, the total value of machinery imports exceeds $219 billion and the amount of duties collected on those imports is approximately $2.2 billion. There are currently more than 98,000 importers of machinery. In addition, Texas is the second-largest state for the number of machinery importers.
After the speeches concluded, DFO Garza, Machinery CEE Director Becker and other event speakers conducted one-on-one interviews with media outlets. Media outlets that covered the event included KGNS-TV (NBC/Telemundo-Laredo) KLDO-TV (Univision/FOX-Laredo), Televisa Nuevo Laredo and El Mañana de Nuevo Laredo.
Other dignitaries who attended the event but did not speak included David Zimov, U.S. Consul General, Nuevo Laredo; Felix Canales, City Council member, City of Nuevo Laredo and local customs broker; Carlos Villarreal, City Manager, City of Laredo and Mario Maldonado, Bridge System Director, City of Laredo.
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.