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Remaining Six Centers of Excellence and Expertise Assume Post-Release Trade Processing

CBP has announced that on 23 March the final six of its Centers of Excellence and Expertise assumed trade authority for post-release trade processes of entry summaries from ports of entry within 19 field offices. The newly fully operational centres are Agriculture and Prepared Products (Miami), Automotive and Aerospace (Detroit), Base Metals (Chicago), Consumer Products and Mass Merchandising (Atlanta), Industrial and Manufacturing Materials (Buffalo), and Machinery (Laredo). They join the Apparel, Footwear and Textiles (San Francisco), Electronics (Los Angeles), Petroleum, Natural Gas and Minerals (Houston) and Pharmaceuticals, Health and Chemicals (New York) Centers that came on-line previously.

As of 23 March trade functions and activities over which the director of any of these centres may exercise authority at the ports of entry under their jurisdiction include entry and entry summary processing; decisions and activities regarding packing, stamping, country of origin marking, rules of origin, trademarks, copyrights, bonds, classification, appraisement, and the sampling of merchandise; and processing of liquidations, protests, petitions, recordkeeping, and financial and accounting matters. On the other hand, port directors retain singular authority over those matters pertaining to the control, movement, examination and release of cargo; retain responsibility for matters related to drawback; and retain responsibility for exercising authority over all matters related to fines, penalties and forfeitures. Port directors and Center directors both have the authority to demand redelivery of cargo or demand single transaction bonds when necessary to ensure safety and security and protect the revenue. Both also have the authority to take samples of merchandise as needed.

CBP states that in instances where a regulation requires that certain documentation, information or filings be submitted to a port director, the filer/importer may either (i) continue making such submissions to the ports of entry in accordance with the regulations or (ii) provide such submissions directly to its assigned Center director, who will process and route the submission accordingly. This includes instances when CBP has requested the documentation or information from the filer/importer as well as instances when the filer/importer initiates the submission without a specific request by CBP. For example, a protest may still be filed with the port director whose decision is being protested pursuant to 19 CFR 174.12(d) or a protest may be filed with the appropriate Center.

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