Part 1: Secure Trade Lanes: First in a Four-Part Series on U.S. CBP Priorities

The road for global trade opportunity, security and compliance during the next four years will consist of four distinct lanes, while United States Custom and Border Protection (CBP) policies will serve as the “guardrails,” said Brenda Smith, Executive Assistant Commissioner for CBP’s Office of Trade, told attendees of the East Coast Trade Symposium this month.  

The four lanes comprising CBP’s trade strategy include:

Secure Trade Lanes--prioritizing CBP effort to protect against high-risk goods moving into and out of the U.S.

Next Generation Facilitation --which looks at opportunities for deregulation and new business models, or what the CBP is calling a move toward an updated 1993 Customs Modernization Act, or “Mod Act 2.0.”

Intelligent Enforcement --which calls on CBP to integrate its resources across the U.S. government and apply them to enforcing trade laws and regulations.

Resource Optimization--which focuses the agency’s attention on getting the best value for the U.S. dollar, and determining what level of resources CBP needs and the willingness of its stakeholders to invest in the agency.

As several presenters at this year’s East Coast symposium noted, CBP secure trade lanes should focus on Trusted Trader programs and leverage single window automation using the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE).  A coordinated operational approach for imports and exports will be necessary.

Smith noted that secure trade lanes should include exploring technology to “pre-empt questions around authentication--be it the identity of a business entity, the Country of Origin, or the intellectual property used in production,” as well as enhancing security for e-commerce supply chains.

Importers and exporters have long sought a comprehensive Trusted Trader program to encompass all federal agencies regulating imports and exports under one uniform system, as well as incorporating the compliance component. Last year, the American Association of Exporters and Importers (AAEI) released a “Blueprint To Trust”  for such a program, hoping to influence partnering government agencies that are not using risk management tools.

CBP officials noted they will continue to strongly recommend that importers and exporters participate in both the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) and Importer Self-Assessment (ISA) processes to integrate supply chain security and trade compliance. The CBP Trusted Trader program, which is currently still in the pilot stage, is designed to align with World Customs Organization (WCO) Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) programs implemented by other countries around the world to enhance security and compliance while facilitating global trade.

At the CBP CTPAT conference earlier this year, Richard DiNucci, the Executive Director of Cargo and Conveyance Security for CBP said that the pending new CTPAT minimum security criteria will focus more on “corporate security” and expand to cover new areas of risk such as cybersecurity, forced labor, identity theft and a closer examination of personnel, especially those working in shipping and receiving.

Securing trade lanes in the next four years will also need to include an aggressive offense against the trade of counterfeit and pirated goods. Trade in these illegitimate goods is associated with smuggling and other criminal activities and often funds criminal enterprises. To protect both private industry and consumers, CBP lists Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforcement as one of seven current priority trade issues.

One message that was clear at the symposium: CBP is looking for the private sector to further partner with them to find the most effective solutions to the changing landscape regarding secure trade lanes, including using emerging technologies and enhanced data analytics to be wiser in all aspects of how they complete their mission.

Finding Solutions

The Integration Point Global Trade Content solution is a comprehensive collection of global trade regulations and regulatory knowledge for more than 200 countries and territories, which organizes and maintains updated customs data from around the globe, regardless of location or language. In addition to management of Harmonized Tariff Schedules, Denied Party & Embargoed Countries Lists, Supply Chain Compliance tools, GTC oversees Main, Preferential, WTO and AD/CVD Rates.

With Integration Point Trade Lane Analyzer and Global Content solutions, global traders get the best of both worlds. In a single screen, exporters and importers can quickly compare the risk of doing business with specific countries and compliance criteria, as well as research new strategic trade lanes for duty savings and risk avoidance.

Integration Point Supply Chain Compliance solution provides increased visibility, manages compliance and mitigates risk across the supply chain. The solution can be used to manage individual programs such as CTPAT and AEO, including conducting vulnerability assessments of business partners, mapping cargo flow and conducting threat assessments. The solution can also be used to focus on other specific areas of risk such as product safety and corporate social responsibility. Integration Point Supply Chain Compliance provides the ability to electronically collect, standardize and organize all supplier data needed for effective risk management into one centralized data repository.

Check back soon for Part II: Intelligent Enforcement, CBP Identifies Four Key Components for Future Trade Growth.