Customs brokers will play a key role in getting small and medium sized businesses into a Customs and Border Protection account management system, Commissioner Alan Bersin told members of the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America on Monday.
Bersin said handling the imports of the United States as millions of lines of separate entries was an outdated practice that Customs must change.
“We have to aggregate this data and approach it in a simplified fashion, and that’s what management by account is intended to accomplish,” Bersin said. “It strikes me that the customs broker is absolutely critical in making account management available to small and medium-sized businesses.
“It’s going to require that we collaborate and figure out how the customs broker can help perform the aggregating tasks that will be required,” Bersin said. “It is a new set of responsibilities but I think your association recognized from the beginning that this is an evolving profession.”
Customs and Border Protection news from JOC:
Bersin Pushes Security, Trade Integration.
Bersin said the agency is working to change obsolete business processes that aggravate the flow of commerce. He asked why a broker should have to apply for a new license each time he changes the business name.
“Many of our practices are outdated and arcane, and simply do not conform with an electronic age, let alone a digital age,” Bersin said. “There are a hundred practices that get under your skin every month that we need to hear about and fix.”
Bersin noted that nine out of 10 brokers do not use the Automated Commercial Environment, and called it “The promise of the future, and always will be if we don’t get down to work.” He acknowledged that the multi-billion dollar computer system was well behind schedule and over budget, and “I am committed to get these projects managed, under control and moving toward their obligations to the business community.”
-- Contact R.G. Edmonson at email@example.com.