The annual conference of the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA) just concluded in San Antonio, Texas. Several prominent speakers from U.S. Customs, the Federal Maritime Commission, the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Industry and Security, the Office of Foreign Assets Control, Transportation Security Administration, and the Department of Homeland Security discussed new policies and procedures that every customs broker and international freight forwarder should use to serve their import and export clients.
Deputy Commissioner for U.S. Customs, David Aguilar, used a new talking point in his repeated use of the phrase "protect the American way of life" which apparently has replaced "protect the border" in his description of the mission of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. U.S. Customs Senior Attorney Susan Terranova stated that in 2009, Customs had issued over 500 penalties against exporters and freight forwarders for failing to file timely or accurately complete Automated Export System (AES) filings. Each penalty was issued in the amount of $10,000.
Marc Rossi, Branch Chief, Certified Cargo Screening Program, Air Cargo Division, TSA, stated that there are 98 foreign flagged airlines that fly into the United States, over 4,000 indirect air carriers (IACs), 52 independent cargo screening facilities, and only 403 IACs certified by the TSA as Certified Cargo Screening Facilities (CCSF), in preparation for the August 1, 2010 100% screening of air cargo aboard passenger aircraft in the United States. More information about the implementation of the 100% screening rule is available at www.tsa.gov/ccsp.
Along with Brandon Fried, Director, Air Forwarders Association, I lectured at the NCBFAA Conference about Export Compliance for Freight Forwarders. The focus of my presentation was on exactly how to mitigate penalties once a Proposed Charging Letter, Pre-Penalty Notice, or Notice of Proposed Penalty has been issued by BIS, OFAC, or TSA. The Power Point presentation is available only upon request.