Acting Commissioner David Aguilar at conference

Members of the Advisory Committee on Commercial Operations of Customs and Border Protection, otherwise known as COAC, held their second public meeting of the year in Savannah, Ga.

The meeting was hosted by CBP Acting Commissioner David V. Aguilar, who co-chaired the proceedings with Timothy Skud, the deputy assistant secretary of tax, trade, and tariff policy for the U.S. Department of Treasury. Since 2011, this 12th term committee, comprised of 20 appointed members from the international trade community, has provided advice on matters pertaining to the commercial operations of CBP and related functions within the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of the Treasury.

In his opening remarks, Acting Commissioner Aguilar recognized the members for their contributions. “Your ideas, your recommendations are more critically important than ever before—and they will play a big part in driving the changes, the transformation that we are making in our processes and the way that we approach our technology and our thinking as we go forth,” he said.

Aguilar identified the agencies’ priorities—consistency and harmonization, CBP’s trusted trader programs, bi-directional education with the trade community, modernization, co-creation of programs and initiatives, and trade enforcement. “All of these fundamental priorities underscore the value and the work that COAC brings to CBP, to DHS, and to our partner agency, the Department of Treasury, represented by Tim Skud here,” said Aguilar.

The meeting included updates on trade programs and COAC subcommittee work. Among the topics discussed were the Automated Commercial Environment, or ACE; One U.S. Government at the Border; CBP’s broker revision project; the National Strategy for Global Supply Chain Security; trade facilitation; air cargo security; bonds; intellectual property rights enforcement; and anti-dumping/countervailing duties.

Held in Savannah’s Historic District, the meeting overlooked the picturesque Savannah River and the port of Savannah, which is one of the largest and most efficient in the nation. COAC members toured the port facilities on Wednesday.

The next COAC meeting is scheduled to be held in Seattle on Aug. 15.




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