BONNER APPOINTS SCHMITZ TO OFFICE OF REGULATIONS AND RULINGS
U.S. Customs Service Commissioner Robert Bonner has appointed Michael Schmitz assistant commissioner of the Office of Regulations and Rulings, effective July 1.
Schmitz, the agency’s deputy chief counsel since 1999, has worked for 31 years at Customs. He served as Customs’ chief counsel from 1985 to 1994, and as deputy chief counsel from 1980 to 1985. Schmitz also served as chief of staff for the World Customs Organization in Brussels from 1994 to 1999.
Bonner, who made the announcement at a meeting for the U.S. Treasury Advisory Committee on the Commercial Operations of Customs (COAC), said he sought Schmitz’s leadership to eliminate what is perceived as a backlog of rulings in the OR&R.
“That’s just one of the objectives we have at OR&R,” Bonner said. He said that by October, he wants it to be OR&R practice to turn rulings around within 90 days from their inception.
“I think they have a tremendous amount of talent in that office,” Schmitz said of OR&R. He said that, under his leadership, OR&R would meet the commissioner’s 90-day turnaround goal will by the end of September. “That is our goal,” he said. “We will hit that goal.”
Schmitz succeeds Douglas M. Browning, deputy commissioner of Customs, who had served as acting assistant commissioner at OR&R for seven months until his current appointment. Sandra Bell is the current acting commissioner of OR&R.