U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced that the following Centers of Excellence and Expertise will assume the processing of all post-release trade activities on March 23: 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). The Apparel, Footwear and Textiles (San Francisco), Electronics (Los Angeles), Petroleum, Natural Gas and Minerals (Houston) and Pharmaceuticals, Health and Chemicals (New York) Centers have previously assumed this responsibility.

As of March 23, trade functions and activities over which the director of any of these Centers may exercise authority will 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 will retain singular authority over those matters pertaining to the control, movement, examination and release of cargo; drawback; and fines, penalties and forfeitures. Port directors and the Center directors will 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 will have the authority to take samples of merchandise as needed.

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