U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) published this week its Performance and Accountability Report for Fiscal Year 2015 which includes Management’s Discussion and Analysis, Performance and Financial information including financial statements. CBP states that the report provides an overview of the Agency’s financial and performance data to help Congress, the President, and the public assess its performance and management of resources. A great deal of detailed and general information is included in this report.
Here are some highlights and statistical data included in the report:
- CBP prevents the illegal movement of people and contraband throughout the U.S. airspace, approximately 5,000 miles of border with Canada, 1,900 miles of border with Mexico and in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard approximately 95,000 miles of shoreline.
- In FY 2015 the Laboratories and Scientific Services Directorate personnel analyzed 22,653 trade cases involving 75,029 sample items to determine compliance with trade agreements, laws, and tariff classification. Of the trade samples tested, 32 percent showed a change in duty rate resulting in the collection of millions of dollars in additional duties. Some affected commodities included honey, steel products, aluminum exclusions, solar cells and panels, multi-layered wood flooring, seafood and thermal paper.
- Approximately 80 percent of maritime cargo containers destined for the U.S. transit through Container Security Initiative ports. In FY 2015, more than 12.1 million cargo containers arrived on ships and were off-loaded at U.S. seaports, representing nearly half of incoming U.S. trade by value.
- CBP developed the audit survey approach to identify high-risk companies. This approach allows CBP to quickly and efficiently obtain information about import activities. In FY 15, CBP completed 36 reviews, resulting in $7.7 million underpaid duties.
- In FY15, 480 Canine Enforcement Teams were responsible for the seizure of 603,283 pounds of narcotics, $34,991,253 in seized property, and 4,507 arrests. CBP’s 49 Currency/Firearms Detection Canine Teams were responsible for the seizure of $39,323,455 in currency, 24 firearms and over 10,000 round of ammunition.
- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed CBP’s practice of assessing penalties against employees or officers of corporate importers of record, provided that these employees and officers can be shown to have personally participated in the violation. The decision means that an owner of a small company cannot avoid the law by closing the company and opening a new one that conducts the identical importing to evade paying duties and penalties to CBP ( U.S. v. Trek Leather, Inc.).
- The Mobile Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Team (MIPET) partnered with the CBP’s Apparel, Footwear and Textile Center of Excellence and Expertise and the Area Port of Cleveland to seize nearly 700 shipments of counterfeit NFL goods, worth a total of $13 million Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP).
- The Commercial Targeting and Analysis Center initiated 368 seizures of unsafe imported products with a gross Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $24 million which represents a 107% increase over the previous fiscal year.
*Missed performance goals – All other goals achieved
CBP had also released in the previous month the following trade and travel numbers for FY15:
These numbers display the magnitude, power and authority that CBP possesses. Let us be reminded to exercise reasonable care and be compliant when conducting business with U.S. Customs.