Skip to main content

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

  1. Home
  2. Trade
  3. 21st Century Customs Framework

21st Century Customs Framework

A Transformative Approach for the Future of Trade

The global trade environment has evolved significantly over the past several decades, driven by rapid technological changes, the continued expansion of the global marketplace, and the rise of e-commerce. Since the Customs Modernization Act of 1993, U.S. trade volumes have increased from $600 billion to over $2.7 trillion per year, with 2 million low value shipments entering the country on a daily basis. Concurrently, the complexities of the modern supply chain have made it increasingly difficult to identify and deter violative behavior such as evasion schemes and intellectual property infringement, and opportunities for tech-enabled operational enhancements have yet to be realized. Further underscoring the risks that accompany this expanded trade environment, CBP has experienced a 540% increase in import safety seizures over the past 14 years.

To meet current trade challenges, transformational reform is needed in order to protect American workers and business, ensure fair competition, increase transparency and accountability in the supply chain, and enable the swift and secure movement of legitimate goods across the U.S. border. The 21st Century Customs Framework is a strategic initiative that seeks to achieve these outcomes by pursuing the following goals:

  • Achieve end-to-end supply chain transparency
    Improved visibility into global supply chains will strengthen CBP’s ability to root out violative actors, supporting ethical production methods and leveling the playing field for domestic industry, while allowing legitimate goods to move swiftly and securely across the border.
  • Drive data-centric decision-making
    Expanded information submissions and improved data sharing capabilities will enable CBP and its partner government agencies to make timely, coordinated admissibility decisions further in advance, before goods arrive at the border. Timely, accurate decision-making will protect national and economic security while speeding entry for legitimate trade.
  • Identify and allocate risk to appropriate parties
    Reimagined entry processes and procedures will enable CBP to better identify risk in the supply chain and allocate this risk to the best suited parties, including new and traditional actors. This will improve supply chain accountability and increase predictability for the treatment of goods for the trade industry.

Imagine a World...21CCF Graphic

How We are Driving Change​

Government and industry are coming together to modernize the legal and operational framework for trade according to the thematic principles grounded in 21CCF’s foundational pillars. The pillars seek to solve the challenges that are faced in a modernized trade environment. 21CCF aims to enable a new world of trade through:​

  • ​Enhanced Facilitation: Improving the timeliness and quality of data received in both the entry and de minimis environments to receive source information, as it materializes, from a broader set of new and emerging knowledgeable parties.

  • Seamless Data Sharing: Expanding the ability to share more information with trade and clarify how information is used for targeting, admissibility, and other purposes.
  • Increased Visibility & Accountability: Increasing visibility into modern supply chains to better position CBP to identify and hold culpable parties accountable for violative behavior.
  • Timely and Effective Enforcement: Providing more enforcement flexibility and streamlining processes to better deter bad actors and protect U.S. consumers and businesses from unfair competition.
  • Secure Funding: Exploring alternative sources of funding above and beyond annual appropriations to help build out and sustain the infrastructure that is needed to meet the demands of trade.

21CCF Government-Industry Process

CBP has invited industry participation and feedback on refinements to the statutory framework through a government/industry 21CCF Task Force, which the agency announced at the Public Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee (COAC) meeting in March 2021.

To ensure a breadth of perspectives within 21CCF’s efforts, the Task Force is comprised of the following industry roles and equities.

Task Force Industries

To further distill and refine discussion feedback, CBP works with the 21CCF Focus Group, a subgroup within the Task Force focused on specific challenges in the trade environment. The 21CCF Focus Group consists of a cross-section of the larger 21CCF Task Force and includes members of the trade community and CBP. The Focus Group works to develop recommendations and to determine whether and how to best incorporate the feedback received during 21CCF Task Force meetings.

Last Modified: Mar 05, 2024