CBP solidifies ties with Israel Customs. U.S. Customs and Border Protection is laying the ground work for an agreement to mutually recognize the Israeli Tax Authority’s Authorized Economic Operator program.
The agency said Deputy Commissioner David Aguilar, who has headed the organization the past 11 months, met with Israeli Customs Director General Doron Arbely at CBP headquarters in Washington last week to sign a joint work plan so that exporters in Israel’s AEO program can receive expedited security status available to suppliers of U.S. companies that belong to the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism. Once CBP does a side-by-side comparison of the two trusted shipper programs and accepts Israeli practices as meeting its requirements it can accept Israel Customs security reviews without having to do its own overseas checks.
CBP recently signed a mutual recognition agreement with Taiwain, its seventh AEO partner nation.
Before arriving in Washington, the Israeli delegation toured the ports of San Diego, Los Angeles and Long Beach to learn about port operations, cargo processing, C-TPAT, radiation portal monitors, Merchandise Enforcement Team warehouse inspections, and technology used by CBP field personnel. Israeli officials were also briefed on anti-tunneling operations in Otay Mesa.
After the meeting, the Israeli delegation was scheduled to visit the Port of Buffalo to learn about challenges on the northern border and how the United States and Canada are cooperating to manage the border.
|Unsafe rubber ducks|
Unsafe rubber ducks stopped at border. U.S. Customs said officers, working under the direction of counterparts at the Consumer Product Safety Commission, at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach on Dec. 4 seized 35,712 rubber ducks from China dressed in a variety of holiday outfits, because they contained excessive levels of phthalates.
Phthalates are a group of oil, colorless chemicals used to make vinyl and other plastics soft and flexible. CPSC regulations prohibit the sale, distribution or importation of any children’s toy that contains concentrations of more than 0.1 percent of the chemical compound.
The CPSC has a small number of inspectors at major U.S. ports, but mostly enforces import safety rules by leveraging CBP’s resources. Since early 2011, CPSC specialists have been co-located with CBP personnel at the Commercial Targeting and Analysis Center – Import Safety so they can share data and coordinate inspections of suspicious shipments. – Eric Kulisch