The Centers For Excellence and Expertise Have Arrived!

posted by Jennifer Diaz March 17, 2017 1 Comment

Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 8.33.06 PMWhat are the Centers for Excellence and Expertise?

CBP is changing how it does business. CBP envisions an end to port shopping and uniform decision making throughout all ports of entry via use of the Centers of Excellence and Expertise (CEE). We previously advised our readers that a CEE was arriving in Miami!

By way of background, in 2012, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published a Federal Register notice (77 FR 52048) that “developed a test to incrementally transition the operational trade functions that traditionally reside with port directors to the CEE.” The purpose of the test was to expand the CEEs’ ability to make decisions, by allowing the directors of the CEE to make decisions that were normally reserved for port directors. CBP’s goal for the CEEs is to “facilitate trade, reduce transaction costs, increase compliance with applicable port laws, and to achieve uniformity of treatment at the ports of entry for the identified industries (77 FR 52048).”

CBP discussed the application process, and urged importers to apply to a CEE to begin receiving the benefits of being a participating account early.

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New Center of Excellence & Expertise to Arrive in Miami 2013!

posted by Jennifer Diaz December 14, 2012 0 comments
DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano addresses a crowded audience at the 2012 East Coast Trade Symposium while CBP Deputy Commissioner David V. Aguilar listens.
Photo Credit: James Tourtellotte

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Deputy Commissioner David V. Aguilar announced at the East Coast Trade Symposium the expansion of the Centers of Excellence and Expertise (Centers), which will create six new Centers in 2013 for the Agriculture & Prepared Products; Apparel, Footwear & Textiles; Base Metals; Consumer Products & Mass Merchandising; Industrial & Manufacturing Materials; and Machinery industries. CEE’s are "virtual "one-stop shops" that provide centralized processing for importers that volunteer to participate. TheCenters are also already a source of information for the entire trading community. Centers are virtual organizations, managed from a strategic location, that link CBP trade personnel by industry to authoritatively facilitate trade."

CBP’s goal is to eventually cover the full range of imported goods.  For now, the Centers to be established in FY 2013 are:

  1. Agriculture & Prepared Products: Miami 
  2. Apparel, Footwear & Textiles: San Francisco
  3. Base Metals: Chicago
  4. Consumer Products & Mass Merchandising: Atlanta
  5. Industrial & Manufacturing Materials: Buffalo
  6. Machinery: Laredo

These virtual centers will provide one-stop processing to lower the Trade’s cost of business, provide greater consistency and predictability and enhance CBP enforcement efforts. The Centers represent CBP’s expanded focus on "Trade in the 21st Century," transforming customs procedures to align with modern business. The Centers will also serve as resources to the broader trade community and to CBP’s U.S. government partners. The current Centers are Electronics in Long Beach; Pharmaceuticals, Health & Chemicals in New York City; Automotive & Aerospace in Detroit; and Petroleum, Natural Gas & Minerals in Houston.

Resources to learn more about the CEE’s:

  • Customs created a new 8 minute video advising on additional benefits the CEE’s provide, including being a "common sense trade processing system," and discussing the assistance with administrative detentions of merchandise the CEE’s can provide. 
  • PowerPoint Presentation on CEE’s.

C-TPAT and ISA members are given priority to apply for admission into CEE’s. 

CEE’s are supposed to provide the uniform decision making the importing community craves.  Import Specialists will eventually all belong to a specific CEE and utilize their specialized knowledge to provide consistent admissibility decisions around the country.  I very much look forward to seeing and reporting on how the Miami CEE progresses.