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Center of Excellence & Expertise (CEE) for Apparel, Footwear, & Textiles

Center of Excellence & Expertise (CEE) for Apparel, Footwear, & Textiles

Issue Summary

U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) developed and is implementing Centers of Excellence & Expertise (CEEs) for all U.S. industries. The goals of the CEEs are:

  1. To serve as a single point of processing for businesses enrolled in CBP’s trusted shipper programs, such as Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) and Importer Self-Assessment (ISA);
  2. To increase industry-based knowledge to segment risk, develop trade facilitation strategies, and enhance enforcement; and,
  3. To serve as a resource for the broader trade community and CBP’s U.S. government partners.

The CEEs continue CBP efforts to increase uniformity of practices across ports of entry, facilitate the timely resolution of trade compliance issues nationwide, and further strengthen critical agency knowledge on key industry practices. They represent CBP’s expanded focus on “Trade in the 21st Century,” transforming customs procedures to align with modern business. By having the CEEs focus on industry-specific issues, CBP is able to provide tailored support to unique trading environments.

The CEE for Apparel, Footwear, & Textiles officially opened for applications on June 3, 2013, with six initial companies, including some United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) member companies. Dora Murphy, Director of the CEE for AFT, has said that CBP will continue to add companies to the CEE as they increase capacity and staff. USFIA has continued to engage in dialogue with Murphy and her staff whenever possible to ensure that the CEE works for our industry.

USFIA Position

The United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) supports the U.S. Customs and Border Protection initiative to expand the Centers for Excellence and Expertise (CEE) for Apparel, Footwear, & Textiles, and looks forward to continuing to work with CBP HQ and the CEE staff. USFIA also supports the implementation of the Single Window and looks forward to working with CBP on it.

USFIA Submits Comments to CBP on ICP on Apparel Terminology

U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) is updating its Informed Compliance Publication (ICP) “Classification: Apparel Terminology under the HTSUS.” The Apparel, Footwear, & Textile Center of Excellence & Expertise (CEE) asked the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) to provide feedback on what to include in the revised ICP publication, which is intended to be an aid for importers when determining the appropriate HTSUS classifications for apparel. USFIA’s Customs Counsel John Pellegrini and the Customs Committee worked to develop these comments in an effort to make the ICP a better resource. If you would like to see our comments, please let us know.

USFIA Submits Recommendations to CBP on Simplified Entry Process

On May 19th, the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) submitted recommendations to U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) on the Simplified Entry Process Phase II: Post-Release. Several of our members are participating in CBP’s Simplified Entry Working Group to ensure that the processes work well for importers in the industry. If you’d like to see the comments or have any questions, please let us know.

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