Archive for the ‘Customs Clearance’ Category

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

The following is excerpted from the 15 April 2010 edition of “American Shipper”.

At a House hearing on efforts to combat Mexican drug cartels and reduce violence on the Southwest border, new U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Alan Bersin emphasized that properly designed security measures can protect the nation without harming commerce.

“We can be economically competitive as we enhance our security. We will adopt strategies that simultaneously improve security and expedite legitimate trade and travel,” Bersin said in his first testimony before Congress since being appointed by President Barack Obama in late March without going through the Senate confirmation process.

CBP’s refrain during the past eight years has been that it’s twin missions are border security and trade facilitation, although many importers and exporters say security requirements still trump efforts to simplify Customs clearance and compliance procedures.

Bersin, who spent the previous year as Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s special representative on southwest border affairs, told the House Appropriations homeland security subcommittee that he wants to build on trusted trader and traveler programs such as FAST, SENTRI, NEXUS and Global Entry.

The Free and Secure Trade (FAST) program offers expedited clearance for carriers and shippers enrolled in the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism program by reducing the amount of documentation required at crossing, providing dedicating lanes to FAST participants and reducing inspection levels. Under the program, drivers must be pre-vetted as low-risk through a review of their identification and citizenship documents.

SENTRI and NEXUS are southern and northern border programs, respectively, that allow registered travelers to speed through border checkpoints and Global Entry offers the same benefit at airports for international travelers.

“We can have enhanced security while reducing the cost and inconvenience to legitimate trade and travelers” through better targeting that allows Customs officers to focus on the small amount of illegitimate inbound cargo that poses a potential safety and security risk, Bersin said….

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

The following article is excerpted from the 17 April 2009 edition of “The Journal of Commerce”.

Canada Customs is bowing to favored importers and carriers, those certified to be of low-risk, and for them is not enforcing its long-stated policy of only clearing imports into Canada at their first port of arrival.

The many and mostly smaller businesses and their carriers, Canadian or American, which have not joined the bi-national FAST … program or other Canadian or U.S. supply chain security programs, are not included. Canada Border Services Agency last week told the trading industry at a Toronto meeting that it will retain for designated low-risk carriers and importers the option of carrying goods inland to bonded warehouses if there is a problem of delayed or incomplete or inaccurate admissibility data that is supposed to be received before a truck rolls up to the border.

CBSA has long been adamant that it is moving to a strictly-enforced first-port-of-arrival policy, that shipments would have to be cleared where they would enter Canada, or at least have had their admissibility data received before moving inland. A main reason given was that this would provide greater convenience and less cost for CBSA itself&hellip.

The policy handed bonded warehouses in Canada their death notice, unlike the situation in the United States where they remain an active part of the goods trading system, and several have closed over the last couple of years. For less-than-truckload carriers and their importers, problems were particularly strong. If only one importer’s goods on a truck had key data missing or incorrect on arrival, the whole truck would be held up.

CBSA now is relenting to a degree, saying the option of later clearance at a bonded warehouse nearer destination remains open to low-risk carriers and importers. The agency has yet to come up with the detailed regulations surrounding all this.