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 cbp.gov 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.