U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), has opened the Centers of Excellence and Expertise across the U.S. Using account-based principles and operational knowledge, these centers manage trade by applying USCBP expertise for imported goods. Accordingly, in June 2017, CBP has announced a guideline covering the range of responsibilities and the operational procedures that apply to importers, customs brokers, agents and filers when they interact with the appropriate Centers.
10 Centers have been established across the U.S. and are responsible for processing overall importation procedures of the relevant goods – including public information openness, import statements, protests and petitions, and also correction and review of customs documents. For instance, “Agriculture & Prepared Products” are managed by the Miami Field Office, which specializes in agriculture, animal products, aquaculture, vegetable products, beverages, alcohol, tobacco and similar industries. Another example is the Los Angeles Field Office who is responsible for “Electronics,” specializing in information technology, integrated circuits, consumer electronics and automated data processing equipment. Thus, inquiries for imported products should be submitted at the appropriate field office.
The guidelines, announced by CBP, contain the contact number and supervisors’ information of each Center (https://www.cbp.gov/trade/centers-excellence-and-expertise-information/cee-directory); and also include procedure requirements for importers and filers and information regarding cargo release and entry.
In addition, the guidelines also address how to answer additional information requests from the USCBP and how to file protests and petitions.