Industry News

CBP Announces FY 2012 Trade Enforcement Priorities
March 6, 2012

On February 29, 2012, U.S. Custom’s and Border Protection (CBP) Acting Assistant Commissioner Kevin McAleenan, along with three of his colleagues, outlined CBP’s FY 2012 trade enforcement priorities in testimony before the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Homeland Security. CBP’s primary trade enforcement initiative for FY 2012 will be to enhance its intellectual property rights (IPR) enforcement and to support economic competitiveness. CBP also considers shipments of merchandise subject to antidumping and countervailing duties (AD/CVD) to be a priority trade issue for FY 2012. Furthermore, CBP intends to focus its trade enforcement resources by initiating an enhanced inspection effort based on assessments of importer risk.

CBP intends to use authority granted under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA) to strengthen its IPR enforcement capacity. The NDAA grants CBP authority, under certain circumstances, to share unredacted samples of suspected counterfeit electronic goods with right holders prior to seizure. This new authority will enable CBP to work more closely with its private sector partners to identify IPR violators. Additionally, with an extra $3 million enhancement requested for FY 2013, CBP hopes to establish four new Centers for Excellence and Expertise (CEEs) designed to address issues within critical trade sectors such as textiles, petroleum, consumer products and mass market retail imports, agriculture, automotive machinery and manufacturing imports. CBP established two such industry centers, focusing on the electronics and pharmaceuticals industries last year.

CBP also plans to focus its resources for FY 2012 and 2013 on shipments of merchandise subject to AD/CVD duties. CBP has created a multi-disciplinary Re-engineering Dumping Team to review the AD/CVD process and to develop enforcement solutions. The team is reviewing the entire spectrum of the AD/CVD import process, from foreign place-of-manufacture to collection of final duties, with the aim of identifying the threats, challenges and vulnerabilities in each stage of the process.

In order to further focus its trade enforcement resources, CBP is initiating an enhanced inspection effort based on an assessment of importer risk. This initiative is designed to protect American consumers from importations of illegitimate and potentially dangerous products without impacting the economic benefits provided by fair and legitimate trade. Using the capabilities of its Automated Targeting System, CBP will identify high-risk shipments of pharmaceuticals, electronics, and wearing apparel imported in the maritime, air cargo, express consignment and international mail environments. CBP will then conduct physical examinations of these high-risk shipments to confirm IPR violations and other admissibility concerns. The initiative will exclude all of CBP’s trusted trading partners (such as members of the Importer Self-Assessment (ISA) Program, Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT), CBP’s National Accounts, and participants in CBP’s Centers of Expertise and Excellence).

For further information, please contact a Barnes/Richardson attorney.

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