Commercial Targeting Center Expands Capabilities on Food and Drugs, Wildlife Trafficking
U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced April 1 the addition of the Food and Drug Administration, the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service to the Commercial Targeting and Analysis Center in Washington, D.C. The eight other agencies already participating in the CTAC are CBP, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food Safety and Inspection Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
CTAC agencies are physically co-located to leverage their collective resources, expertise and authorities to prevent, preempt, deter and investigate import law violations by commercial shipments that pose a threat to public health and safety or other border management goals such as conservation of species. All partner agencies are granted access to import data, which allows for quicker and more informed decision-making.
The addition of the FDA, FWS and NMFS to the CTAC is expected to boost increasingly high-profile federal efforts to ensure the safety of imported foods, drugs and drug ingredients and to prevent illegal cross-border wildlife trafficking. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg indicated that working with other agencies in the CTAC will further improve her agency’s ability to respond to “the very real challenges of globalization as supply chains become more complex.” FWS Director Dan Ashe added that broadening the scope of CTAC to encompass illegal wildlife trade will aid his agency’s mission of “keeping our borders closed to illegal products of all types” by providing access to new intelligence and increased cooperation with other agencies.