U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced that on March 23 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 centers 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 online previously.

The covered field offices and ports of entry are as follows.

Atlanta: Atlanta, Charleston, Charlotte, Norfolk, Savannah

Baltimore: Baltimore, Dulles Airport, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh

Boston: Boston, Hartford, Logan Airport, Portland (ME), Providence, St. Albans

Buffalo: Buffalo, Champlain

Chicago: Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Kansas City, Louisville, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, St. Louis

Detroit: Detroit, Port Huron

El Paso: El Paso

Houston: Dallas, Houston, Houston Airport

Laredo: Brownsville, Hidalgo, Laredo

Los Angeles: Los Angeles/Long Beach, LAX

Miami: Miami

New Orleans: Memphis, Mobile, New Orleans

New York: JFK, New York FO, New York/Newark

Portland: Anchorage, Denver, Portland (OR)

San Diego: Otay Mesa, San Ysidro

San Francisco: Honolulu, San Francisco

Seattle: Blaine, Great Falls, International Falls, Pembina, Seattle

Tampa: Jacksonville, Tampa

Tucson: Douglas, Naco, Nogales, Phoenix, San Luis, Tucson

As of March 23, trade functions and activities over which the director of any of the above Centers may exercise authority at these ports of entry 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 (a) continue making such submissions to the ports of entry in accordance with the regulations or (b) 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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