Customs Regulations

Customs Regulations

In the years since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, perhaps no government agency has evolved as much as U.S. Customs and Border Protection. From port initiatives such as the Container Security Initiative to partnering with industry in the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, CBP is now front-and-center on virtually every international company's radar screen. Failure to comply with CBT's myriad and seemingly ever-evolving regulations can cost a company millions of dollars in fines. Overseas, customs agencies can be even more of a bureaucratic minefield and corruption is rampant in many emerging markets. In an increasingly global marketplace, how companies cope with myriad customs regulations can spell the difference between success and failure in an international strategy.


Congress should pass a new Miscellaneous Tariff Bill in 2015. But lawmakers should also consider sensible enhancements to the Foreign-Trade Zones program, including full funding of Customs automation, expanding direct delivery to speed shipments from ports to zones, and revising the FTZ Act to put companies and workers in U.S. zones on a more equal footing with their competitors in free trade agreement partner countries.

News & Analysis

U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspectors check container at Port of Baltimore.
23 Feb 2015
A looming shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security could put U.S. international trade, not just national security, at risk, President Obama warned Monday, though in reality trade at ports of entry will not be delayed even in the event of a DHS shutdown.
23 Feb 2015
A newly introduced U.S. House bill would allow shippers to pay for additional Customs staffing and extended gate times at the entire U.S.-Mexico border, and not just at ports of entry in Texas as they can now.
17 Feb 2015
A partisan debate on Capitol Hill is threatening to throw even more delays into already slowed U.S. supply chains. What began as a debate over immigration reform has evolved into a stalemate that has put at risk customs operations at airports, seaports and land borders nationwide.
01 Feb 2015
Truckers grappling with long waits outside the Nhava Sheva port complex, India’s largest container gateway, could see some faster turnaround improvements when the port authority introduces “paperless” gate-in operation for export containers later this month.
09 Jan 2015
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is working with slightly more than a dozen federal agencies to help them better determine what shipments are high risks and which ones can be cleared faster because they pose less of a potential threat.
08 Jan 2015
U.S. Customs and Border Protection will continue to go beyond standard operating procedures until the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex is free from congestion and productivity is back to normal, the assistant director for field operations at the agency in Southern California said Thursday.
Gil Kerlikowske
06 Jan 2015
Since taking the reins of U.S. Customs and Border Protection in March 2014, Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske has met with shippers, brokers and others to better understand trade facilitation and what the agency can do to help. Associate Managing Editor Mark Szakonyi met with the former U.S. drug czar in early December to discuss how Customs will work this year to expedite cargo processing without sacrificing security.
05 Jan 2015
All of the leading seaports and airports in India moved to a 24/7 customs clearance operation as of Dec. 31, paving the way for a boost in the country’s export and import trade.
12 Dec 2014
NVOCCs and forwarders will be required to submit house bills of lading to China customs when the country's advanced manifest system is implemented in March.
11 Dec 2014
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection pilot project that allows shippers to reimburse the agency for additional staffing during normal hours and overtime work could help seaports deal with the growing threat of congestion.