U.S. Customs and Border Protection

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Your Data is NOT Your Own at the Border

posted by Jennifer Diaz December 19, 2017 0 comments


On November 15, 2017, DTL’s very own Jennifer Diaz, along with other experts, spoke at the AILA CLE Luncheon on travelers’ rights when encountering U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at airports and other ports of entry. As international travel continues to grow, coupled with increase national security efforts, it is imperative travelers know their rights when entering or exiting the U.S. Travelers enjoy taking their electronic devices with them for pleasure and/or work. Electronic devices hold considerable amounts of our personal or privileged information. 

What is CBP’s Policy? Continue Reading

AD/CVDBest PracticesCBPCustoms BrokerEventsFDA IssuesFoodFSMAImportU.S.Customs

World Trade Month Seminar Series for Compliance Professionals

posted by Jennifer Diaz April 20, 2017 0 comments

WORLD TRADE MONTH Seminar Series FlyerIn celebration of World Trade Month, Diaz Trade Law is hosting a World Trade Month Seminar Series for Compliance Professionals featuring U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) speakers.
In the first seminar, attendees will learn the ABC’s of Antidumping & Countervailing Duties (AD/CVD) compliance and CBP Enforcement.

In the second seminar, FDA will focus on food importations and discuss the upcoming Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) requirement under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

The TOP reasons you should attend?  Continue Reading


The 3 Dirty Words Unspoken by U.S. Customs Commissioner Bersin

posted by Customs & International Trade Law Blog April 5, 2011 1 Comment

At the annual meeting of the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America in Phoenix, Arizona, on April 4, 2011, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Alan Bersin gave a surprisingly frank speech.  He used the familiar phrases of "global supply chain security," the need "to protect the homeland from dangerous people and dangerous things," and "risk management".  Only after he finished 60 minutes of speaking did I realize that he omitted saying the three dirty words that were the bedrock of every CBP Commissioner since the tragic events of 9/11. 

Those three dirty words are "terrorism," "counter-terrorism," and "anti-terrorism." In a radical departure from prior leaders of CBP, Commissioner Bersin stated:

We need to drive transaction costs down 10-15% to become more competitive with China, Brazil, and India…I need your help in making this happen.

I was shocked! Did I really just hear the top manager of the primary border enforcement agency for the United States talk about business and not  terrorism?  If you were surprised by that, then the next quote will really grab you. Commissioner Bersin described the international transportation process for both importing and exporting as "a series of bureaucratic mazes."

I have met and talked with every Commissioner since Carol Hallett in 1989, , and have never heard such candid, outspoken, and straightforward talk from a Commissioner as I had heard yesterday. 

Commissioner Bersin said that with 60,000 CBP employees and a $11.5 billion annual budget, he has 3 priorities.

1.  Re-establishing the credibility between CBP and the international trade community.  To this end, Commissioner Bersin has dedicated one day a month as "Trade Day" to meet with the various international trade-related associations, such as the NCBFAA.  He also hired a new Director of the Office of Trade Relations, Maria Luisa O’Connell.

2.  Getting the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) back on track after being in development for 15 years and spending $3 billion.  He hired Cindy Allen who previously was in charge of the National Educational Institute for the NCBFAA, and is a licensed customs broker.  He emphasized coordination with other Federal agencies (USDA, FDA, EPA) to expedite the international transportation of cargo because he stated that 2 of 3 detentions by CBP are for the purpose of enforcing other agency regulations.

3.  Account-based review by CBP focused on a single identification number rather than line by line review on an import entry.

Commissioner Bersin is not new to Federal Government, and is experienced in running large agencies such as the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, so I am very encouraged by his following assertion:

I don’t see economic prosperity as any different from our national security!

Finally, those of us who have understood that seem to have a friend in high places.  Now, if only Commissioner Bersin could get his friend, the TSA Administrator to stop requiring passengers to remove their shoes when going through security, then we would really have something to celebrate. 

Department of Homeland SecuritySeizures

Notice of Detention of Merchandise by U.S. Customs and Border Protection

posted by Customs & International Trade Law Blog February 24, 2011 4 Comments

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a February 22, 2011 60-Day Notice and Request for Comments regarding its use of a "Notice of Detention".  I know, a lot of you are saying to yourselves, "When did CBP starting using Notices of Detention," and my response to you is "That’s a darn good question!"

The law, 19 U.S.C. 1499 and 19 CFR 151.16, allows CBP officers at the border to stop and search persons for merchandise.  If the CBP officer discovers something suspicious, and takes it from you, then it has been "detained".  In exchange, the CBP officer is required to send to the importer or passenger a Notice of Detention form no later than 5 business days from the date of the examination, stating that: (1) the merchandise has been detained, (2) the reason for the detention, and (3) the anticipated length of the detention. 

That all sounds reasonable, but the problem is that the legal requirement is often ignored by CBP.  Often, a Notice of Detention is never issued by CBP to the importer, or is issued late or does not state the reason for the detained merchandise.  I  have seen a few hundred Notices of Detention over the past 21 years as a customs lawyer, but have never seen one that described "the anticipated length of detention."

The Request for Comments asks the public for "ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected."  I have a way to enhance the quality of the CBP Notice of Detention – follow the law and issue it every time, on time, and accurately.   For those who want to respond formally to CBP, click on the link for the address to address comments before April 25, 2011