U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) presented updates and received valuable feedback from trade stakeholders on a variety of trade facilitation, antidumping enforcement and modernization issues during the Aug. 7 meeting of the Advisory Committee on Commercial Operations (COAC).
“We have a lot of work to do. We need your help in getting people ready for full implementation of ACE,” said CBP Acting Commissioner Thomas S. Winkowski to COAC members. “We are making progress with our partner government agencies toward making a single window, One U.S. Government at the Border (trade processing system).”
Key highlights of the meeting included announcement of a three-year deployment schedule for the completion of the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) with firm dates for mandatory use of ACE. A COAC subcommittee also gave a detailed analysis and recommendations on how to improve and modernize the export process. Updates were also given regarding ongoing improvement of the Air Cargo Advanced Screening (ACAS) program and recommendations to develop program rules that accommodate various business models. Subcommittee topics also included development of e-bonds, encouraging enforcement and prosecution of anti-dumping/countervailing duty cases and ongoing work toward mutual recognition of trusted trader programs with foreign governments, including Canada, Mexico and Israel.
In his closing remarks, Acting Commissioner Winkowski encouraged CBP, its international partners Canada and Mexico and the trade community to consider collaborating on the development of a North American strategy. He noted that all three countries are working on very similar initiatives and that perhaps this work could be channeled into a larger strategy. The Acting Commissioner also observed that collaborative, inter-customs agency projects remain ongoing on our northern and southern borders and that ultimately these efforts help all three countries move closer toward harmonization of customs documentation.