On March 17, 2022, the U.S. Embassy in Berlin and AmCham Germany hosted an Expert Webinar on "Current Developments by U.S. Customs and Border Protection."
David Dolan, Customs and Border Protection Attaché from the U.S. Mission to Germany, started his presentation with a brief overview about five key topics:
- The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act
- The World Customs Organization’s E-Commerce Framework
- Developments in the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT)
- The 21st Century Customs Framework (21CCF)
- The Impact of the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement
He discussed the topics in greater depth, elaborating on the ongoing public consultation process on the implementation of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, stating that the comment period has just closed. However, there will be additional activities ahead before the law comes into full force in mid-2022, he noted. Attaché Dolan pointed out that the names of companies and the specific goods subject to current CBP forced labor enforcement actions are available in the public domain. These enforcement actions include the issuance of withhold release orders and the publishing of findings.
Mr. Dolan further outlined how the boom in e-commerce, enhanced over the past two years by the pandemic-induced ordering of more goods to be delivered directly to people at home, challenged U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to continue to meet security, safety, and facilitation objectives, due to high volumes. However, a risk-based approach made it possible to process such goods in a responsive manner. CBP continues to test data collection pilot projects in partnership with supply chain stakeholders and he anticipates further rulemaking later in 2022 that is to be well informed by the results of the pilot efforts.
Attaché Dolan highlighted the importance of CBP’s Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, including recent enhancements to the minimum security criteria of that program, which enables CBP to work in closer partnership with the private sector to safeguard supply chains. In this regard, he also referred to the value of trusted trader programs of various countries, which aim to secure the supply chain and facilitate legitimate low-risk global trade. Moreover, the United States and the European Union, under the EU Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program, have successfully worked together for a number of years through the mutual recognition of their trusted trader program approaches.
After these initial remarks, the participants had the chance to directly pose questions to the CBP Attaché during the Q&A session. Questions ranged from the enforcement procedures regarding products from Xinjiang to climate change related issues. Mr. Dolan offered to help AmCham Germany members with questions related to the Global Entry program and business visa. He also encouraged the opportunity for further, program specific, engagements if the AmCham members wish to focus more closely on a specific program or issue.