Assistant Commissioner Allen Gina, Office of International Trade, told the National
Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association, in their September meeting in Washington,
that “CBP needs an effective partnership with the brokerage community that
takes their compliance expertise to the next level.”
“Brokers are vital to CBP’s efforts to modernize trade and reduce costs for the industry
and the government,” Gina said. “You are an essential conduit between the importer
and CBP, and our account-based and industry-focused Centers of Excellence and
Expertise. CBP will increasingly rely on you to root out inefficiencies in our processes
“We need the customs broker to be our force multiplier for our enforcement and
facilitation efforts,” Gina said. “So brokers must be allowed to assume more responsibility.
That includes the processing of entries, educating themselves, the importer
and the public, and maintaining the highest standards of competency and integrity.”
CBP included the “Role of the Broker” program as an important component of its
Trade Transformation Initiatives. While the goal is to enhance brokers as compliance
professionals, the program also includes a new opportunity for CBP and the
trade community to work together to overhaul the broker regulations. This year CBP
will hold nearly 30 roundtables with the brokers on the key regulatory features of the overhaul.
In introducing the Role of the Broker, CBP has hosted a number of broker Webinars, which
have averaged nearly 400 participants. The next are scheduled for October 4 and October 11.
CBP is also deploying a streamlined broker licensing process to cut the application time from
nearly a year down to 3 months. After pilots were successfully tested at JFK and O’Hare
Airports last year, the new process is being expanded to Philadelphia, Atlanta, Laredo, Seattle,
Otay Mesa, Long Beach, Houston, Dallas, San Francisco, Boston, Nogales, and Cleveland.
These sites will be able to accept both individual and corporate license applications. The new
process will eliminate long delays that were costly to new applicants and their employers,
and reduce the substantial administrative burden on CBP personnel.