U. S. Customs Centers of Excellence and Expertise

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CEE Map from CBP.gov website

According to U. S. Customs, “the Centers of Excellence and Expertise (“CEE or Centers”) were established to increase uniformity of practices across ports of entry, facilitate the timely resolution of trade compliance issues nationwide, and further strengthen critical Customs knowledge on key industry practices”.

The following ten centers have been established at strategic Customs ports:

  • 001 Pharmaceuticals, Health and Chemicals (New York)
  • 002 Agriculture & Prepared Products (Miami)
  • 003 Automotive & Aerospace (Detroit)
  • 004 Apparel, Footwear & Textiles (San Francisco)
  • 005 Base Metals (Chicago)
  • 006 Petroleum, Natural, Gas & Minerals (Houston)
  • 007 Electronics (Los Angeles)
  • 008 Consumer Products & Mass Merchandising (Atlanta)
  • 009 Industrial & Manufacturing Materials (Buffalo)
  • 010 Machinery (Laredo)

Each center is made up of three Divisions:

  • The Partnership Division handles CEE participant accounts.
  • The Validation and Compliance Division handles other importers.
  • The Enforcement Division handles any enforcement related issues.

Delegation Order number 14-004 issued by the Commissioner of Customs on September 11, 2014 assigned trade processing authority to the Directors of the Centers of Excellence and Expertise.  Delegation implementation for all Centers took place between January 28, 2015 and March 23, 2016.   As the transfer of entry post importation functions from the local ports to the Centers has been completed, Port Directors share their authority with Center Directors.  With the Centers being fully operational now, the trade has a single point of reference for questions, issues or concerns pertaining to its specific industry.

Some of the Centers areas of responsibilities include the following:  entry/entry summary processing (quota, warehouse entries and withdrawals, TIB, foreign trade zone entry summaries and special entry procedures), rejections, cancellations, census warnings, requests for information (CBP28), notices of action (CBP29), antidumping and countervailing cases, Post Summary Corrections, Post Entry Amendments, liquidations, protests, petitions, prior disclosures, recordkeeping, financial and accounting matters.  The Centers also have jurisdiction over decisions related to country of origin marking, rules of origin, trademarks, copyrights, bonds, classification, and appraisement.

Ports will maintain sole authority for the admissibility, examination and release of merchandise; drawbacks; fines, penalties and forfeitures (FP&F).

The Centers and the Ports have joint authorities for the sampling of merchandise, to demand redelivery of cargo, and to accept revenue collections and protests.

If you are interested in becoming a CEE participant importer, or if you have any questions regarding  the Centers please feel free to contact us.