Add your voice to the 2012 AAEI Benchmarking Survey

From the American Association of Exporters & Importers:

The 2012 AAEI Benchmarking Survey is open, after restructuring it in alignment with the [CBP] Centers for Excellence and Expertise’s (CEE’s) industry categories. This year’s survey promises to be one of the most comprehensive surveys on international trade operations. It is open to members and non-members and will remain open until Friday, August 31, 2012. All participants will receive a free copy of the full results.

Click here to start the survey.

Past Benchmarking Survey results are available here.

What’s the latest with the Simplified Entry pilot?

As recapped in US Customs’ July 2012 ACE Trade Account Owner Update, the Simplified Entry pilot for air cargo is doing very well:

As of July 25, 2012 over 3,000 Simplified Entries have been successfully filed by pilot participants at the three pilot ports of Atlanta, Chicago and Indianapolis. Simplified Entries have been filed for over 230 different importers. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Pilot Participants will conduct an evaluation after 60 to 90 days to assess the pilot. Plans for expansion are moving forward. CBP is finalizing plans to expand to additional airports using a regional approach. CBP will be issuing a second Federal Register Notice to announce the expansion of the pilot to additional participants [ed. note:  see below]. Lastly, CBP is looking for opportunities to add new functionality to the pilot including incorporation of the Participating Government Agency (PGA) Message Set and the use of the Document Image System (DIS).

In addition, since the Simplified Entry pilot is a paperless (electronic) program, CBP has had to consider how warehouses, freight stations and terminals will fit into the project, since many of these are non-automated (not paperless) facilities.  As a solution, the agency has created a workaround process that will allow these facilities, “on an interim basis, to release cargo based on screen printouts presented to them by filers (importers, brokers, etc.),” according to the July 2012 Update.

Finally, due to the success of the pilot, CBP is opening up the test to additional participants.  As announced in today’s Federal Register, it is also relaxing the requirement that participants who use a broker to file simplified entries must be C-TPAT-certified (although any direct filers who participate must be in the C-TPAT program).

To learn more, read about Simplified Entry in the July 2012 ACE Trade Account Owner Update, or visit the Simplified Entry section of CBP’s website.

CBP stepping up trade intelligence gathering

US Customs has just announced the formation of a trade intelligence gathering unit, the Private Sector Intelligence Liaison Office (PSILO).  According to CBP,

[t]his dedicates industry personnel to strategic CBP locations, identifying issues of  mutual interest.  Together, the PSILO and CBP work to manage issues in need of resolution via CBP’s targeting, enforcement, or intelligence efforts.

PSILO representatives, selected from the security, customs compliance and sourcing departments of importers, will help provide intelligence to Customs on issues such as intellectual property rights, ADD/CVD, trade preference areas and more.   Apparently, Customs will be recruiting “trusted partners” from the trade.

CBP’s announcement, which contains some additional information, can be found here.  As of this posting, a Google search as well as a search of the website did not reveal any additional information on PSILO.  It is not clear, for example whether PSILO will address importer identity theft, a matter of great concern to the trade.

Date change — CBP East Coast Trade Symposium

In follow up to our post last week, please be advised that US Customs has changed the dates of its East Coast Trade Symposium to October 29 and 30 to maximize participation.   Additional information and registration options will be available during the week of August 13.  Check here for more information.

In addition, Customs has announced that the conference will feature updates on CBP’s trade modernization efforts, expansion of global partners, the changing role of the broker and more.