U.S. Customs and Border Protection is soliciting through Dec. 3 applications to operate one or more container examination stations that will serve all ports within the Area Port of Seattle, including Seattle and Tacoma. A CES is a privately operated facility where imported cargo or cargo for export that is designated by CBP for physical examination is made available for inspection. When cargo is designated for inspection at a CES the importer, carrier, exporter or its agent is responsible for arranging and paying for the bonded transfer of the merchandise to the appropriate CES as well as any fees charged by the CES for its service.

CBP states that at the end of the application submission period it will publish a list of applications, including names, facility addresses, fee schedules, equipment and numbers of employees to be involved in the CES operation, and provide a 30-day period for public comments. In addition, CBP will conduct a site survey for each potential CES facility for which it has received a timely and complete application package. After reviewing all applications, comments and facility ratings, the area port director will make a final determination on the number of needed CES facilities and tentatively select the applicant(s) that will be granted authority to operate a CES.

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