CBP replaces C-TPAT director Perez
Robert Perez will relinquish his post as director of the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism to head the Detroit port office beginning Jan. 3, Customs and Border Protection officials confirmed.
Perez will replace Angela Ryan, who will retire Oct. 30, spokeswoman Cherise Miles said. Robert Prouse, director of Port Huron, will serve as acting port director in Detroit for two months until Perez arrives, she said.
A Customs spokesperson in Washington was unable to provide the name of the new C-TPAT director.
Perez is considered a rising star within the agency, having shown skill in quickly developing the trusted shipper security program and becoming its public face. He is respected by the private sector for his willingness to listen and gather industry input. More than 7,100 importers, carriers, intermediaries, Mexican manufacturers, ports and terminal operators have signed up since C-TPAT was created nearly three years ago.
The move comes as Perez and his office are in the midst of a comprehensive review of C-TPAT polices and rules that is expected to lead to stricter requirements for participating in the voluntary supply chain security program.
Customs officials characterized the move as a normal rotation from CBP headquarters to gain experience dealing with day-to-day border security, trade and travel issues. Officials who want to advance their careers are required to spend time in the field and frequently rotate between assignments.
Detroit is one of the highest profile ports of entry in the country because of its importance in facilitating trade with Canada. There are five border crossings in the area, including two rail tunnels and a truck ferry. The Ambassador Bridge, which links Windsor, Ontario, and Detroit, is the busiest international border crossing in North America and the busiest commercial truck crossing. It handles more than 5,000 trucks per day and nearly 30 percent of all merchandise trade between the United States and Canada. It is a critical lifeline for the auto industry, which relies on just-in-time deliveries from Canadian parts suppliers. The other major crossing is the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, a major conduit of passenger vehicles.