U.S. CUSTOMS MAKES FURTHER UPGRADES TO LINE RELEASE PROGRAM
U.S. Customs wants to make it easier for customs brokers and importers to
use its automated land-border clearance system, known as Line Release.
Customs developed Line Release in the 1980s to help relieve congestion along
the U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico. Cargo eligible for the program are mostly
high-volume, low-risk, repetitive shipments.
The agency has recently upgraded Line Release at all 45 border ports to a
Windows environment, which changed the name of the system to Border Release Advanced
Screening and Selectivity, or BRASS. Customs also required the agency to make changes to
the barcodes used by the system.
In addition, Customs moved its application-approval process for Line
Release from Washington to St. Albans, Vt. The agency is currently
considering to manage the southern border Line Release program from either its office at
Otay Mesa, Calif., or Laredo, Texas. Customs plans to make its decision by January.
John Considine, Customs’ director of manifest and conveyance told the
Northern Border Customs Brokers Association in Arlington, Va., this week that the agency
is considering whether to eliminate the process of brokers having to apply twice for Line
Release at the port and headquarters level. Brokers would then only have to submit their
applications once to Customs in St. Albans, Vt.
"That’s an admirable objective," said Robert Perkins, vice
customs operations at A.N. Deringer. "We fully support that move."