The Office of Trade Relations (OTR) serves as the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) point of contact for the international trade community. Situated within the Office of the Commissioner, OTR is responsible for industry engagement, dissemination of information, and solicitation of input from both the trade and partner government agencies (PGAs). Working with agency components, OTR also helps coordinate the development and implementation of trade policies established by CBP operational program offices. OTR supports CBP’s trade-related strategies by ascertaining the impact and cost benefits to industry, and facilitating efficient and timely communication on policy matters and other trade-related issues. Additionally, OTR is charged with organizing and administering formal trade outreach efforts, including the annual CBP Trade Symposium and Commissioner-hosted industry “Trade Days.” OTR ensures that CBP communicates a unified message, internally and with external stakeholders such as Partner Government Agencies (PGAs), trade industry, congress, and international delegates.
OTR is responsible for CBP compliance with the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA), and for mitigating the resolution of issues that could not be resolved at a local CBP level or by another CBP Headquarters program office. The office also develops and leads the outreach and education of import and export requirements to small- and medium-sized trade entities in an effort to achieve increased levels of compliance, elevated awareness of enforcement outcomes, small business resources and, business growth opportunities.
OTR assists in advocating and advancing CBP international programs and initiatives by leveraging bilateral and multilateral relationships to influence and create global standards that support the CBP mission. Lead engagements and coordination of CBP efforts, goals and priorities in the international environment, to build capacity, partnerships, strategic alliances, and new global opportunities.
OTR also provides management and oversight of two non-discretionary legislative mandated Federal Advisory Committees: the Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee (COAC) and the User Fee Advisory Committee (UFAC). Since the passing of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (TFTEA), OTR’s role has been expanded to support the implementation of enforcement priorities and requirements of TFTEA — including Forced Labor, Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duties, Intellectual Property Rights, and Import Safety mandates — by leading and coordinating collaborative stakeholder activities. For questions regarding importing, exporting or the status of your shipment, please contact the local service port. The ports are listed by each state and provide the contact information. Also, you may take advantage of CBP's Questions and Answers database to research your questions. (CBP's Questions and Answers) Please contact CBP INFO Center at (877) CBP-5511.