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Advisory Body Proposes Improvements to CBP’s “Intelligent Enforcement” Processes

Posted October 05, 2020

In a white paper published last week, the Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee put forward a number of recommendations for the agency to consider in connection with its “Intelligent Enforcement Modernization” initiative.
COAC Meeting
Intended to support the development of CBP’s formative new 21st Century Customs Framework, the “intelligent enforcement” concept is premised on “further improving risk management and the impact of efforts to detect high-risk activity, deter non-compliance and disrupt fraudulent behavior.” According to the COAC white paper, these efforts include “how to better utilize technology, big data, and predictive analytics to drive decision-making.”

The seven “themes” presented by the private-sector advisory body for consideration ahead of the next quarterly COAC meeting later this week, include the following areas:

Fines, Penalties and Forfeitures (FPF) Partnership Branch/Special Processing for Partnership Accounts

  • Account-Based as Opposed to Transaction-Based Penalty Issuance & Enforcement
  • Automation of CBP Notices and Decisions
  • Enhanced Enforcement Rationale and Guidance
  • Informal Realignment of FPF Offices & Decision-Making on a National Level
  • Modernized & Streamlined Petition and Appeal Process
  • Review of Mitigation Guidelines

In each instance, the existing issue or problem area is identified and corresponding solutions designed to streamline or improve the relevant process are offered.

For example, the paper observes that the FPF decision-making and resolution process as it pertains to Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism and Trusted Trader partners “often lacks uniformity regarding time frames, rationale for decisions and consequence delivery.”

To address this issue, the COAC paper suggests that CBP considers the creation of a “trusted trader center, office or branch to address cases involving such partners,” which could collaborate with the Center Partnership Branches and receive input from them as appropriate. The report also recommends that CBP implement enhanced mitigation guidelines for C-TPAT/Trusted Trader partners together with expedited processing for them to improve transparency, consequence delivery and remedial action.

In its conclusion, COAC says it hopes the solutions proposed in its white paper will ideally lead to the formation of “a dedicated working group to address enforcement in the context of CBP’s 21st CCF.”

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