U.S. WEST COAST BROKERS WANT MORE TSN INSIGHT
While the Trade Support Network is widely known in Washington for its involvement in helping U.S. Customs design its future computer system, West Coast customs brokers say they feel largely out of the loop.
Concerns about the lack of knowledge about the TSN’s activities were raised by broker executives at the Western Cargo Conference in Vancouver over the weekend.
The TSN comprises about 120 executives, which represent a gamut of industry operations, such as brokers, freight forwarders, importers, exporters, sureties, carriers, trade associations, software vendors, attorneys and consultants. The group meets three times a year. The TSN’s seven committees, however, meet more regularly.
The goal of the TSN is to help Customs design the Automated Commercial Environment so that it accommodates the entire industry’s needs, as well as meeting Customs’ operational and regulatory requirements.
“The bottom line is that our participation is critical, not in just getting what we want, but getting what’s necessary,” said Robert A. Perkins, vice president of El Paso, Texas-based broker Miles Group, and a member of TSN. “It’s our future.”
Perkins said that while the TSN is only open to those picked to serve, brokers have ways to make their voices and concerns known by contacting TSN members and Customs officials involved with ACE development. He also encouraged brokers to read the minutes of the TSN, which are posted on Customs’ Web site, at http://www.customs.gov
Janet Pence, who oversees the TSN on Customs’ behalf, relayed in a message that she welcomes the establishment of regular teleconferences with industry associations such as the Pacific Coast Council of Customs Brokers & Freight Forwarders Associations.