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Trade enforcement and facilitation is a broad and complicated subject, incorporating numerous
laws, regulations, enforcing agencies, and government and private sector stakeholders. In order
to facilitate inquiries on trade enforcement and facilitation issues, the following informational
resources are summarized for your use:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is an operational component of the U.S.
Department of Homeland Security that performs trade enforcement. It is charged with regulating
and facilitating international trade, collecting import duties, and enforcing U.S. regulations,
including trade, customs, and immigration, at the U.S. border. Its primary mission is to safeguard
United States borders; thereby protecting the public from dangerous people and materials while
enhancing the U.S. global economic competitiveness by enabling legitimate trade and travel.

General Trade Inquires:

 Basic Importing/Exporting Information:
 FAQ’s - “AskCBP” webpage:
 CBP International Initiatives and Attaches Overseas:
- CBP Office of International Affairs – +1+(202) 344-4000
 If you cannot find an answer via these resources, contact the CBP Information Center
- Email:
- U.S.: +1+877-CBP-5511 (877-227-5511) / International: +1+202-325-8000
- Open Monday-Friday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern time.

Trade Policy and Program Resources

 CBP Office of Trade
- General Trade Information:;
- Specific Program POCs:
- Priority Trade Issues (PTI):
 PTIs represent high-risk areas that can cause significant revenue loss,
harm the U.S. economy, or threaten the health and safety of the American
people. They drive risk-informed investment of CBP resources and
enforcement and facilitation efforts, including the selection of audit
candidates, special enforcement operations, outreach, and regulatory
initiatives. -
- Commercial Targeting and Analysis Center (CTAC)
 CTAC is a CBP-led center which seeks to streamline and enhance federal
efforts to address import safety issues. The CTAC combines the resources
and manpower of CBP and other government agencies to protect the
American public from harm caused by unsafe imported products by
improving communication and information-sharing and reducing
redundant inspection activities. -

Drafted by: Adam M. Sulewski, DHS-PLCY-BIT 26 May 2018; (202) 447-3483
 CBP Office of Trade Relations (Trade Ombudsman)
- OTR is the primary contact for trade enforcers and facilitators with the
international trade community on trade policy. The Director is also the
Designated Federal Officer (DFO) for the Advisory Committee on Commercial
Operations to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (COAC).
 Trade Enforcement and Facilitation Federal Advisory Committee
- The Commercial Operations Advisory Committee (COAC) serves to advise the
Treasury and DHS on the commercial operations and related functions of the U.S.
 Border Interagency Executive Council (BIEC):
- The BIEC is an interagency working group that consists of administrators and
leaders from Partner Government (PGA) agencies that have a border interest. Its
mission is to expand intra-government teamwork through modernization, such as
the Implementation of PGA requirements in the ACE Single Window; and
develop policies and processes needed to facilitate trade and advance compliance
with applicable laws.
 Advanced Rulings on Imports
- CBP issues binding advance rulings and other legal decisions in connection with
the importation of merchandise into the United States. Advance rulings provide
the international trade community with a transparent and efficient means of
understanding how CBP will treat a prospective import or carrier transaction.
This also includes the issuance of informed compliance publications, customs
bulletins, and a IPR recordation database. -
 Customs Rulings Online Search System (CROSS) -

U.S. Department of State

 Customs/Trade Issues Liaison
- Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs – Trade Policy and Negotiations –
Multilateral Trade Affairs
 / Phone: 202-647-6956
 Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC)
- DDTC ensures commercial exports of defense articles and defense services are
consistent with U.S. national security and foreign policy objectives. -

U.S. Department of the Treasury – Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC)

 OFAC is a unit of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Its charter covers administering
and enforcing economic and trade sanctions against targeted foreign countries, terrorism
sponsoring organizations and international narcotics traffickers based on U.S. foreign
policy and national security goals.
 /1-202-622-2490

Drafted by: Adam M. Sulewski, DHS-PLCY-BIT 26 May 2018; (202) 447-3483
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (or ICE) is an operational component of the
U.S. Department of Homeland Security that performs trade investigations. ICE has two
primary components: Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Enforcement and
Removal Operations (ERO) (involving immigration and deportation issues). HSI special
agents investigate a range of issues that threaten the national security of the United States
such as human rights violations, human smuggling, art theft, human trafficking, drug
trafficking, arms trafficking, document-benefit fraud, the manufacturing and sale of
counterfeit immigration and identity documents, transnational gangs, financial crimes
including money laundering and bulk cash smuggling, trade-based money laundering,
computer crimes, including the production and transportation of child pornography via the
Internet, import/export enforcement, trafficking of counterfeit pharmaceuticals and other
merchandise, and international Cultural Property and Antiquities crimes.
 General Information on Trade Investigations -
o Please note: ICE-HSI generally cannot comment on on-going investigations.
 International Operations (Homeland Security Investigations attaches and
representatives overseas) -
 National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center
o / 1-866-DHS-2-ICE
o To Report Violations of intellectual property rights, including
counterfeiting/piracy –
 Export Enforcement Coordination Center (E2C2)
o The Export Enforcement Coordination Center serves as the primary forum within
the federal government for executive departments and agencies to coordinate and
enhance their export control enforcement efforts. The Center maximizes
information sharing, consistent with national security and applicable laws. This
helps partner agencies detect, prevent, disrupt, investigate and prosecute
violations of U.S. export control laws. -

Drafted by: Adam M. Sulewski, DHS-PLCY-BIT 26 May 2018; (202) 447-3483
Bill of Lading A document issued by a carrier (or his agent) to acknowledge receipt of
cargo for shipment. In British English, the term relates to ship transport
only, and in American English, to any type of transportation of goods.
(sometimes abbreviated as B/L or BoL)
CMAA Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement / A binding government-to-
government bilateral agreement between countries, administered by
their Customs administrations, which establishes methods for mutual
assistance and information sharing on Customs enforcement issues.
COAC Commercial Operations Advisory Committee, federal advisory
committee on imports/exports and Customs issues, chaired by CBP.
CSI Container Security Initiative / U.S. CBP officers stationed
internationally, working with host customs administrations to establish
security criteria for identifying high-risk containers targeting WMD.
Those administrations use non-intrusive inspection (NII) and radiation
detection technology to screen high-risk containers before they are
shipped to U.S. ports.
Duty A tariff or tax on the importation (usually) or exportation of goods.
Entry Declaration of information on imported or exported goods, sometimes
prepared by a customs broker and submitted to Customs. It states the
customs classification number, country of origin, description, quantity,
and value of the goods, and the estimated amount of duty to be paid.
Also called customs declaration, duty entry, or just entry.
HTSUS Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States
NTC National Targeting Center
PGA Partner Government Agency (within the context of Customs
performing the border checks on behalf of these agencies).
PSI Proliferation Security Initiative / A Department of Defense-led effort in
partnership with other countries to stop trafficking of weapons of mass
destruction (WMD), their delivery systems, and related materials to
and from states and non-state actors of proliferation concern. This
involves engagement with ministries of defense, interior (particularly
Customs agencies, which often have interdiction authorities at sea).
Trusted Trader A voluntary public-private sector partnership program, in which
stakeholders of the international supply chain (such as importers,
carriers, consolidators, licensed customs brokers, and manufacturers)
submit to a verification and assessment regime (both technologically
and physically) to ensure implementation of best practices in supply
chains security. The United States’ trusted trader program is the
Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT), which has
11,400 certified partners. Internationally, this concept is known as
“Authorized Economic Operator” (AEO).
WTO-TFA World Trade Organizations - Trade Facilitation Agreement

Drafted by: Adam M. Sulewski, DHS-PLCY-BIT 26 May 2018; (202) 447-3483