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CBP Sending 21CCF Language to Interagency Review

The director of CBP's trade modernization office said CBP is packaging up the discussion drafts of what it would like to see in a 21st Century Customs Framework law, and sending them to the Office of Management and Budget so that the OMB can coordinate interagency comments and clearance of the language.

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Garrett Wright, who was speaking at the National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America Government Affairs Conference in Washington on Sept 11, said CBP is seeing congressional interest in passing new authorities for CBP.

One of those authorities CBP wants to add: summarily forfeiting counterfeited goods found in de minimis packages. "We don’t have the bandwidth, we don’t have the resources in CBP to seize our way out of the problem," he said.

Lenny Feldman, NCBFAA general counsel, asked Wright how the new authorities might change the entry process.

"One of the key tenets of 21 CCF is creating a legal framework where additional parties -- traditional parties as well – present data as it materializes," he said. "What does that mean for intermediaries? Well, it really depends on your business model."

He said customs brokers may aggregate and scrub information received from suppliers in the supply chain, or even validate it, "or you may choose not to, and that's OK."

"But at the end of the day, only the broker or the importer may certify that entry … and that was by design."

Adding data that gives CBP visibility into multiple tiers of the supply chain is not going to be mandatory, he said, but producers "that do open up their supply chains, they’re going to receive concrete trade facilitation benefits," he said.

Some of those benefits will be priority processing, expedited release, or streamlining data requirements across statutes, he said. "We’re going to promulgate that in regulations."

Wright said much of the room to improve on trade facilitation is at partner government agencies, as some are asking for redundant data elements, and some are using the same labels to mean different things from each other.

As CBP recommends that the Border Interagency Executive Council become a matter of law rather than a group established through executive action, it also wants BIEC to have a formal way of listening to industry feedback, and it wants BIEC to work on harmonizing data processes.

In addition to the 21st Century Customs Framework, Wright said that "there's a lot of swirl and interest" in Congress around antidumping and countervailing duty evasion through shell companies, addressed in the Fighting Trade Cheats Act (see 2303160067).